Sheep shearing skills don't mean a succesful DIY haircut at the farm on the M62

Despite being a dab hand with a pair of sheep shears, it became clear this week that my husband’s hairdressing skills start and stop with sheep and sheep alone.

Jill has been turning her hand to hairdressing - of a sort - this week

Not that I would ever contemplate letting him near my locks or John-William’s for that matter! After weeks of nagging from me to sort his rapidly growing hair, he quite suddenly did. Not much grows on top these days, but for what he lacks there, he certainly makes up on his beard, sideburns and the back of his head.

Blessed with incredibly thick hair, Paul’s recent hairdo was getting out of hand, however. At times I was beginning to wonder if I was living with Grizzly Adams, not Paul Thorp. Even his mother had shied away from tackling his giant, tangled bouffant.

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But nothing could have prepared me for what greeted me one evening when I came home. He stood cowering behind the door, a slightly nervous laughter.

“I’ve had a bit of a mullock. Can you help me?”

As he stepped into the room I stared in disbelief at his head. Great chunks of hair were missing, the top of his head completely scalped. The back was worse. He explained he was trimming his beard and decided to try and thin his hair out with his clippers.

In his wisdom, he’d decided to try other parts of his head, perhaps the clippers would work better round the back. Like tram lines through a field of wheat, bald stripes crisscrossed the back of his head. I stood taking it all in before taking the proffered clippers from his hand. There was nothing I could do except take the lot off.

The three of us headed to North Cave at the weekend as some of our Woodland hogs needed moving. It wasn’t a big move, just across the road onto a fresh patch of turnips. As the ewes settled on the new ground we took a walk around the remaining farmland with the owner.

The farm stood almost marooned on its own private island. As far as the eye could see, great quarry wagons lumbered across the churned up land, digging, moving, piling great mounds.

With no successor for the farm, the two brothers had made the incredibly difficult decision to sell off the land to be quarried for sand and gravel.

Of course I sympathised, losing farm land for whatever reason is never easy. On this occasion, however, the future of this low-lying land is bright. Some of the land has been purchased by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, the remaining to be donated by Humberside Aggregates, upon completion of their works. Once finished, the 340-acre site will be filled with ponds, reed beds, flood meadows and wet grassland.

It will provide a fantastic, safe habitat for countless breeding waders and wintering flocks of wildfowl as well as other wildlife. From grassland to quarry land to nature reserve. Quite a transformation and most definitely a significantly preferable use of the land than seeing acres of Legoland houses and industrial units.