Norfolk police admitted yesterday that although they searched the field next to Jim Matthews farmhouse after receiving a 999 call, they failed to find a missing haystack because of 'human error'.
Mr Matthews said that shortly after reporting his haystack's disappearance, eight hundred policemen arrived and began a systematic search of the farm.
'We've had quite a bit of haystack rustling around these parts lately,' he said, 'so I wasn't surprised when I thought one of mine had gone missing.'
Mr Matthews said that police spent some time searching the farmhouse and even his wife, who had to interrupt her butter making during the search.
'I was astonished when after three days of searching, the detective in charge sheepishly told me they'd found the haystack in a corner of a field they'd already searched.
'He said it was down to human error - or I suppose eight hundred human errors - and apologized.
'But I was well needled,' Mr Matthews said.