The University of Central Lancashire has announced that they may soon be adding a small herd of bright-eyed and sure footing llamas to their Student Centre’s roof flora.

Planning permission

Planning permission has already been lodged which, if granted, would see the fun-loving animals trimming the roof gardens green spaces, providing a mental health boost for students as well as playing an important role in UCLan’s new School of Veterinary Medicine’s teaching and research.

And like the sheep which reside on the rooftop of the Flower Bowl Entertainment Centre at nearby Barton Grange, the llamas will be kept in place by a five-foot-high fence around the roof’s perimeter.

They’ll even have their own staircase to come up and down as they please.

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UCLan’s Dr Heather Bacon, Veterinary Clinical Senior Lecturer, said:

“We are really looking forward to welcoming our herd of llamas to campus. Commonly found in the Andes Mountains of Peru, llamas are used to high altitude and harsh weather conditions so our Student Centre roof garden should provide the ideal environment for our llamas to thrive.  

“While it would be common for veterinary students to work with large animals such as cows and sheep, llama care skills training, behaviour and welfare represent a growing niche specialism which we are keen to fulfil.

“We’re also investigating the possibility of our new furry friends being joined by a muddle of guinea pigs. Not only can they eat five times their weight in grass, they’ll also play a key role in the small animal care aspect of our teaching curriculum.”

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An added benefit of the initiative is that llama manure, referred to by llama farmers as ‘llama beans’ has almost no odour and therefore makes for a great, eco-friendly fertilizer that UCLan’s grounds team plan to spread liberally across the University estate.

The University hopes the planning permission green light will be granted in the next few weeks enabling the llamas to be moved into their new rooftop surroundings during Spring and fully settled for September 2022 when the University’s new School of Veterinary Medicine officially opens its doors.   

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The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) is a leading modern university with thriving campuses in Preston, Burnley, Westlakes (Cumbria) and Cyprus.

History

Founded in 1828 as the Institution for the Diffusion of Knowledge, UCLan now has a staff and student community approaching 38,000 and an employment-focused course portfolio containing over 350 undergraduate programmes and nearly 250 postgraduate courses.

As well as being a national leader in the number of student and graduate start-up businesses it supports, UCLan is also Lancashire’s largest provider of graduate-level qualifications, supplying highly skilled graduates into the workforce.

The University also has established links with global businesses, police constabularies, NHS trusts and more than 1,000 regional enterprises across a variety of sectors.