Booking for the first livestock sale of the season at Lewis and Harris Auction Mart has closed early for the first time ever, due to exceptionally high demand for the sale.

Mart spokesman Kenny Macleod said the August sale, held this year on Wednesday August 22nd, usually attracted up to 3,500 beasts, but with numbers already at the capacity level of 4,000, bookings have closed ahead of the Wednesday (August 15th) deadline.

He said: “The September sale is usually our biggest sale of the year, and for the last few years that sale has closed for bookings early, but this is the first time the August sale has had to close ahead of the deadline.

"We have already taken a few bookings for September and its vital that crofters make sure of their place in the September sale by booking early.”

The first sale opens at 9.30am on Wednesday August 22nd.

September’s sale of lambs and sheep is on Wednesday September 12th, with bookings due to close on Wednesday September 5th.