ON a clear night at a remote spot in Glenshee, the heavens are lit by millions of stars and the silence is broken only by the sound of a llama humming.

Yes, there are llamas in the glen and one of them, called Bradley, likes to hum. He is joined by Atticus and Jet and for visitors “glamping” at Ecocamp Glenshee taking them for a trek is an optional extra, as is the full, highly recommended (by me) “Llama Experience”.

There are also donkeys, hens, a goat and frequent sightings of red squirrels but it is the llamas which are, apparently, the new unicorns. Always behind on fashionable trends by a considerable distance, I wasn’t actually aware unicorns were a “thing” but it appears they were and are now being superceded by llamas which people, I’m told, drool over.

I always thought it was llamas that had the excess of saliva which they get rid of by spitting at unsuspecting passersby but according to Simon Calvin, who runs Ecocamp Glenshee with his wife Fiona, this is a common misconception.

“Llamas are lovely,” he said. “They don’t spit, they don’t kick and, in fact, they seem to have a calming effect on people.”

While the Ecocamp came first and the llamas were a later addition, Calvin has become a real enthusiast and is on something of a mission to show off the animals’ star qualities to visitors. There’s plenty of opportunity to observe them if you are staying at the camp as they are in an adjacent field and it’s possible, as previously mentioned, to hear Bradley humming away, although we initially thought he was snoring.

To really get to know them, however, it’s best to take them on a trek or plump for the full Llama Experience. This consists of proper introductions conducted by Simon, who then gives the lowdown on their nature and habits – they like order and routine and indeed sound very much like Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory.

They are not particularly touchy-feely but will permit some gentle neck stroking once introductions have been made.

A wag once said llamas looked as if they had been designed by a committee with none of the members allowed to collaborate and it is true that the parts don’t seem to fit together particularly well. They’re odd-looking creatures made for the cold nights and hot days of South America but Jet, Atticus and Brad seem to be thriving at Glenshee.

When the preliminaries are over, the harnesses, which are minimal, go on and it’s off up the hill to the assault course which, Calvin assures us, the llamas enjoy. It’s just a few obstacles consisting of a couple of low jumps, a little maze and some canes to weave around slalom-style.

Everyone takes turns to lead a llama over the course and then there is a timed round with a medal for the winner. The llamas do seem happy to give it a go and as they can be stubborn creatures it’s doubtful whether they would co-operate if they didn’t like it.

Calvin says it makes a great team-building exercise with the quiet members of the group often making more headway with the animals than more aggressive ones. Those taking part are encouraged to release their inner Dr Dolittles and talk to the llamas so they really bond with them.

Afterwards the llamas go back to their grass while the humans are fed homemade cakes and hot chocolate by Calvin, which makes up a little for having to say goodbye to Atticus, Jet and Bradley as you grow quite attached to your woolly team-mates.

It was a highlight of our weekend but the glamping was fun, too. We were in a converted railway wagon complete with woodburning stove, very comfortable beds and French windows overlooking the llamas and over to the hills.

Rebuilt from a 1942 goods wagon found languishing in Aberdeenshire, it was a homey little place with a kettle and a fire pit outside for barbecuing. The toilet and shower block on the site are warm and clean and there’s a bothy where glampers can cook and relax. All the pods and the shepherds’ huts look cosy and there is a mobile hot tub which can be pre-booked.

Solar panels on the site provide energy, the cleaning products are environmentally friendly, there are recycling bins everywhere and the insulation in our wagon was made from recycled plastic drinks bottles.

There’s nothing much nearby – one group from down south memorably told Simon they were off down to Blacklunans to eat at the Chinese or Indian restaurant and were a bit shocked to find out there’s only a phone box there that has been turned into a mini library.

However, Blairgowrie isn’t far away while the fleshpots of Pitlochry can be reached by car in half an hour and Braemar is just a little more.

We preferred the peace and quiet and enjoyed a long walk up Glen Isla where there were no cars and nothing to be heard at all, not even the sound of a llama quietly humming.