AN INSPIRATIONAL young man from west Dorset has become an entrepreneur at the age of 13 – raising his own flock of sheep to sell for meat.

William Banham of Long Bredy was determined to be his own boss and was just 12 when he found a patch of land to start his own farming business, ‘Will’s Lambs’, completely off his own bat.

The Sir John Colfox pupil has singlehandedly raised, fed, watered and wormed his flock of eight sheep on a site at Litton Cheney before taking them to the slaughterhouse and delivering the meat to his customers.

Entrepreneurial Will explained how he was “determined to work for himself, not for somebody else”.

“My neighbour up the road had some land to rent, so that’s how it all started,” he said. “I don’t think any of my friends have their own businesses – sometimes they joke about it, but I think mostly they’re quite impressed.”

And while many adults are squeamish at the thought of where meat comes from, Will’s attitude towards the realities of life is mature beyond his years.

He said: “I know I’ve given them the best life possible so I wasn’t too sad about taking them to the abattoir. You just have to accept that’s how it is.

“I also want to make sure every part of the animal is used, and will be selling the sheep skins.”

The plucky youngster isn’t from a farming background, but has helped out on a farm from the age of six.

Proud mum Caroline explained: “William would have me drop him down there at 6am. He’d stay there for 12-14 hours if he could.

“During lockdown every morning and afternoon he’d have to go and check the sheep – he’s never failed to get up, he’s been really responsible.

“When they off to the abattoir he went out to do that; he wanted to do all the butchery and to pack it up – I’m really proud of him.

“I think he’s quite unusual. My friends have always said he’s an old head on young shoulders since he was a little boy.”

It’s not just Will’s family and friends who have been impressed by his efforts - feedback from customers has been “amazing”, according to Caroline.

“Everyone has been in touch to say it’s a great tasting product,” she added.

“Will’s just got this amazing spirit, he gets things done. He’s quite self-motivated when he wants to do something. We’re really proud of him, and the fact he’s done everything himself."