Little Alf author Hannah Russell to open animal-themed visitor centre

Author Hannah Russell is a lover of the outdoors and animals and spent much of her childhood years riding and exploring the Yorkshire Dales with her dogs.

Little Alf came along to live with Hannah in 2012 and gave her a new focus. She was having time away from college due to an injury in her lower back and started a blog on her pet’s adventures. This led to her first book being published when she was just 17 years old, and she went on to become a full-time author.

Since then she has gone on to launch a number of business initiatives including interior design, fashion ventures, travelling the world as a public speaker and charity ambassador.

Now her bold new project is “Swinton Green”, an animal-themed visitor centre located next to the luxury Swinton Park Hotel, near Masham.

The venture was prompted by an episode of ill-health. In 2020 Hannah was diagnosed with cancer; after a series of operations and radiotherapy, she entered remission last year. The whole experience prompted her to re-evaluate her priorities and push forward towards her dreams.

Hannah said: “I always wanted to create a centre where people could come along, meet the animals from the books and have experience days where they get a connection from the animals and take something away from the visit.

“I’m not creating a petting farm but a place to make memories with animals. I’ll be working with a few different charities but also offering experiences such as alpaca walking.”

Swinton Green is set to open early this month. Find out more at

Darlington and Stockton Times | Business News