ALONE on a Hebridean island croft in the middle of a global pandemic, with plenty of sheep and a severe case of lockdown hair, there was probably only ever going to be one ending.

While the rest of us hijacked partners with scissors to try to tame wayward hairstyles, television crofter Donald “Sweeny” MacSween opted for something more serious.

The result of his attempt to trim his hair using his sheep’s shears will be revealed in a new series of BBC Alba’s An Lot – The Croft, which focuses on the Isle of Lewis crofter’s experiences during the height of lockdown.

And although his experiences with the shears were something of a very close shave, Donald confirms it could have been much worse.

“At least I still have both my ears, even if the hair was more of a ‘Mohican’ than I meant it to be.”

Viewers have followed Donald through the highs and lows of running his croft in Ness, on the northern tip of Lewis, for the past five years.

The first series saw him turning his passion for crofting life into a full-time occupation as he took over the croft that had been in his family for more than a century.

Since then, viewers have witnessed the many challenges of keeping on top of a busy croft, with its 600 hens, six Highland cows, 150 sheep and 14 pigs, and followed him as he branched out into egg production, delivered wood to be made into Harris Tweed and explored how to enter the island’s tourist industry.

Far from a romantic look at crofting life, it has exposed how brutal it can be, from raging storms to the loss of livestock in the face of Donald’s efforts to modernise and diversify. Having become used to being followed by the cameras, lockdown restrictions meant he had to take over filming as the crew left just as the croft entered one of its busiest times of the year.

In the three-part series, Donald, 36, is seen trying to take in rapidly changing and momentous global events as the pandemic evolves while getting on with the traditional tasks associated with life on his croft.

The three-part series reveals the impact of Covid-19 as the former young crofter of the year entered a lambing season without help, and his reactions to the crisis as it sparked panic buying in shops, grounded airlines and closed down businesses.

“I’ve watched the programmes now, and it’s really interesting to see how scared and confused I was,” he said.

“There’s a point in March when I’m filmed asking about what social distancing was. Now, of course, it’s part of day to day language but at the time we hadn’t heard of it.

“You forget so much of what happened. Now when you look back, it’s hard to believe how much has changed.”

As the rest of the country was came to terms with lockdown restrictions and limited time outdoors, Donald was in the grip of one of the busiest periods of life on the croft.

“As soon as lockdown started, lambing began. I was in a ‘lambing bubble’ for the first six weeks of lockdown,” he recalled.

“I was avoiding most of the news because I was so busy. I was concerned and anxious, but I didn’t have the time or energy to find out too much about what was going on. “I was probably lucky to have the distraction of lambing.”

While tackling lambing and other jobs alone left him exhausted, he says he appreciates how lucky crofters and other islanders have been compared to some others.

“People have really appreciated they were not stuck in a flat somewhere without a garden. We have crofts that we can go outside and work on.”

The series has shown Donald investing in modern equipment including Shetland-made Polycrubs, tunnels made from redundant pipe from fish farms and designed to withstand harsh island gales, and diversifying into new income streams such as meat boxes in order to keep the croft going.

However, the latest series concludes with him reflecting on the troubled times caused by the pandemic.

Meanwhile, he suggests the crofters’ way of life might be one that many will be following to a small extent. “Living on an island, we spend summer thinking about preparing for winter,” he said.

“We’re cutting peat, preparing animal feed, filling our freezers because we know that the ferries aren’t always sailing, and you can’t always get what you want from the shops. “I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of other people are also thinking about what might happen come winter and are doing the same.”

An Lot - An Glasadh/The Croft - The Lockdown, tonight, 8.30pm. It is made by MacTV for BBC Alba