Shepherds wanted to talk about collies

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A Wooler film company is making a documentary about Border collies and is appealing for shepherds to come forward to talk about their dogs.

Media company Shadowcat Films has already made two local productions, the more recent last year, looking at the region’s bondagers, and, prior to that, a film about Yetholm and its neighbouring Bowmont Valley.

The new film, to be shot in Northumberland and the Borders, will look at the history of the Border collie and feature modern day shepherds working with dogs alongside memories from retired shepherds.

Film director Alysoun Sharpe said: “We would like to capture the unique working relationship which shepherds have with their dogs and the close bond they share. We will be looking at past times but also bringing the film up to date by following modern day shepherds.

The film will feature Sheila, the collie who helped rescue American airmen lost in a blizzard after they’d crashed on Cheviot in winter 1944, the use of Border collies in search and rescue, the historical use of the dogs in droving and the story of shepherd Adam Telfer and Old Hemp, widely regarded as the father of the modern working Border collie.

Partial funding for the film, due out in December, comes from the Northumberland National Park. It will be screened in various locations in the region and be available on DVD.

Anyone who is working with a Border collie or has done so, and wants to be involved, is invited to contact Alysoun on 01668 283465 or alysoun@shadowcatfilms.com by May 10.