Derek Scrimgeour, Sheepdog Trainer and Farmer
On the cusp of achieving a lifetime ambition to establish the first internationally focused sheepdog attraction of its kind, a Cumbrian farmer says World Heritage would give the Lake District and the whole county a global badge of recognition, bringing great benefit to many people.
Just back from the States and another business trip to Sweden beckoning, Derek Scrimgeour is an unlikely international entrepreneur.
The Cumbrian farmer turned worldwide sheepdog trainer, handler and breeder has notchedup a plethora of titles and tributes. Top of the trade, his protégées are in Australia, America, Canada, Japan, Singapore and across Europe.
Another milestone beckons for the modest man who found himself in Wigton after three decades of sheep farming in Keswick came to an unexpected close, when the tenancy of his adored 1,500-acreholding ended.
Daughter Rachel had moved to Raise Lodge Farm and with land overlooking the beautiful Solway coast, Derek figured it was the time and place to finally bring reality to a long-held dream of establishing his Sheepdog World.
Planning permission clinched, he reckons the unique centre will be open by June 2017, not to any great fanfare, but with a demonstration for farmers.
Derek’s standing on the international sheepdog stage cannot be overestimated.His collies demand high prices, thousands of pounds in fact, and his trademark Killibrae is the industry’s coveted top-of-the-range breed.
However, it is his skill as a handler and trainer that has put Derek in the spotlight. One-time captain of the England handling squad and former national champion, he featured in TV’s popular One Man and his Dog and three DVD films, including an American production.
Not easy for the Perthshire born and bred sheep farmer, who never liked to draw attention to himself.
He explained: “Shyness is endemic among Scottish lads of my generation. Thousands of us suffered. We were never encouraged to boast or shout about things. I’ve had to get over it.”
Sheepdog World will see him on an ever-expanding international stage, where visitors and anyone with a vested interest in masterclass techniques, premier bloodlines and learning have a unique treat in store.
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Article by Karen Barden
Derek Scrimgeour is an internationally renowned sheep dog trainer who offers masterclasses at his own farm