**The Isle of Wight County Press is partnering with Christ the King College in Newport to give young reporters the chance to find out what journalism is all about. We hope you enjoy their stories.

Alpacas are sensitive, intelligent and docile animals.

They are sometimes used in nursing homes and hospitals as certified therapy animals, helping to reduce anxiety and depression.

Alpacas are born and bred for their fibre in the fleece industry, as they have high quality hypoallergenic fleece.

In this industry, they are not always farmed ethically. 

Rescue farms (such as West Wight Alpacas) are able to take in alpacas (some of which have been neglected in the past), care for them, and nurse them back to health. 

Isle of Wight County Press: Visitors can book in to take the alpacas for a walk - a very popular activity especially among holidaymakers. 

Rachel Foster, employee, said: "We help the animals and care for them - we have routines of nail trimming, shearing and diet plans.

"We have a diverse range of people visiting the farm.

"On my alpaca walks I have met people from Sweden, China, India, Russia, English people, French people.

"I even believe someone came all the way from Australia to visit the farm!

"I love the people and the location; the thing I love the most though is the animals. You think you’ve got a favourite one and then another special memory or event will happen with another one of the animals.

"You end up with these little bonds with individuals which is lovely.

"Activity wise, the public can get involved with lamb feeding around April and May time.

"There’s of course alpaca walks which I highly recommend. All the walking boys are amazing and I love them so much, and we’ve also started something called meet and greet.

"If people are unable to go on an alpaca walk due to disability or being a bit too little to walk the whole way, then they can pay to have ten minutes or so to have a personal experience with an alpaca or llama."

West Wight Alpacas is not the only animal rescue centre on the Isle of Wight; there are others that you can contribute to that work to provide a better life for various other animals, such as the IW Donkey Sanctuary, Monkey Haven, the RSPCA and more. 

Contact West Wight Alpacas to book your walk.