THE COUNTRYSIDE is full of characters. Some of them we love; some of them we loathe. But one thing”s for sure: our villages wouldn”t be the same without them.

A selection of 30 of these characters are brought together in Farming Breeds – a tongue in cheek guide to characters in the countryside.

This hilarious book, which brings together the best of the popular series which first appeared in Farmlife in 2000, has been reissued for Christmas.

In it, you’ll find characters such as Mark “My Words” Wright, the next-door farmer. “He paid a grand less for his tractor than you did. His kids got better grades at college and his yields are a tonne an acre higher. Or so he says.”

You’ll also find Martin the conservation adviser with his sandals, his obsession with newts and his beard worthy of SSSI designation. There’s Pat, the chicken-killing B&B landlady, whose fried breakfasts can immobilise guests for hours. Not forgetting Jim, of course, the fledgling computer user who”s convinced “software” means moleskin trousers.

This 64-page illustrated publication, which takes a funny and sometimes irreverent look at rural characters, also features a land agent, an agric student, an auctioneer, a pony-mad girl and a rambler.

How many of these characters will you recognise? Maybe you farm near one? Maybe one drinks in your local pub? Or runs your local butcher”s shop? Watch out, though, you might just see a little of yourself in some of them.

Priced at just 4.99, this compendium will raise many a chuckle and is just the thing to pop into a Christmas stocking or to add to your own bookshelf.

Farming Breeds, by Tim Relf with illustrations by Jake Tebbit. Numbers are limited – so, to get your copy, send a cheque now for £5.60 (which includes post and packing) payable to “Reed Business Information” to Farming Breeds, farmers weekly, Quadrant House, The Quadrant, Sutton, Surrey SM2 5AS.