Amanda Owen says she is not planning on having any more children

‘The breeding season is over!’ Our Yorkshire Farm shepherdess admits she didn’t plan to have NINE children because she ‘goes with the flow’ – but insists she won’t be adding to her brood

  • Amanda Owen, 46, glamourous shepherdess and mother-of-nine from Yorkshire 
  • With husband Clive, 67 raise their children on Ravenseat farm in Yorkshire Dale 
  • Amanda tells Ben Fogle is not planning on having any more children in the future 
  • But admits she and Clive don’t really have a plan  and happy to go with the flow 

Her family has won over the hearts of viewers during lockdown, but Our Yorkshire Farm’s Amanda Owen has admitted that she never intended to become mother to such a large brood. 

The mother-of-nine, 46, who runs Ravenseat farm in the Yorkshire Dale with her husband Clive, 67, welcomes Ben Fogle for an episode of New Lives in the Wild airing tonight at 9pm on Channel 5. 

Ben first visited the farm five years ago, when he compared the Owen children to the Von Trapp family from the Sound of Music, and the family have since starred in their own programme Our Yorkshire Farm. 

Since Ben’s first visit, Amanda and Owen have welcomed another daughter, Nancy, but the shepherdess says on tonight’s show that ‘breeding season is over’ after years of ‘going with the flow’ and ending up with nine children. 

The couple run the 2,000-acre tenant farm where they manage their flock of around 1,000 sheep and run a B&B while raising their ‘free-range’ children – ranging from four-year-old Nancy to Raven, 19. 

On tonight’s New Lives in the Wild Ben Fogle returns to Yorkshire to visit one of the breakout stars of his programme, Amanda, 46 and Clive Owen, 67, who own Ravenseat farm and have nine children

Amanda tells Ben she is not planning on having more children after raising her brood, who all help around the farm (pictured)

At 6ft 2in Amanda was encouraged to follow the same career path as her model mother, but hated the clothes and make-up that she had to wear, and became entranced with the idea of farming after spotting a book on shepherding. 

She’s since created her ‘dream life’, and tonight’s show looks back on how the Owen family has evolved since the programme aired five years ago.

‘The breeding season is over,’ Amanda candidly tells Ben on tonight’s episode. 

‘The family is complete but there never was a plan. Not really. That kind of isn’t the way we operate.

Amanda tells Ben she is not a ‘smug parent’ or a ‘parenting guru’ and that she wants her children to learn from their mistakes (pictured with Ben and Clive)

‘Of course there is roughly a plan of how we’d like things to go,’ she says, before adding she and husband Clive, who is 20 years her senior, are also generally happy to ‘go with the flow.’

Speaking of her parenting style, Amanda, who has a hands-off approach and lets her children experiment with different activities around the farm says: ‘They have to learn from their own mistakes. 

‘Clemmie might get her foot stomped on, she might get her bottom bitten, but apart from that, that’s as far as it goes,’ she tells Ben. 

‘What they’re actually getting is valuable life lesson and the ability to do this and that’s what it’s all about’

We’re on top of the world! Amanda is pictured with her children on the Moors, including her eldest Raven, 19, who is a University student

Farm life! Amanda often poses my tractors and shows off her life on the Yorkshire Dale farm with her children while her little ones are often spotted about too (right)

Amanda admits that not everybody agrees with her parenting style, but says that it’s impossible to keep everybody happy, no matter what you do.  

She says she won’t change the way she operates, adding: ‘As long as the children are happy and I am convinced of the benefits of what everybody’s doing and have been brought up.’

‘It’s not about being a smug parent, I’m not a parenting guru. I just make things along as I go.’

The couple’s children have grown in the public eye through their parent’s show, Your Yorkshire Farm and Clive, who admits the work is getting more tiring as he gets older, says several are interested in taking over the farm in the future.  

Grasping at straws! Sweet images from daily life on the farm show Amanda with her little ones working on the land. She is pictured right with Sidney and Nancy

Stylish and sleek! Amanda is often seen looking effortlessly sleek while working on the farm, she is seen here in a green coat

‘It’s very long tough days, as you get older it gets more tiring. With me it seems to be that I get up in the morning and I’m fine but as it gets to 4 or 5 o’clock I get weary,’ Owen admits. 

‘The kids they play a part in it. They need to get stronger,’ he adds. 

Ben jokes in an aside to the camera that Clive’s insurance policy is the fact he has ‘a million children. Nine to be exact.’

With some of the children in their teens, Raven, the eldest, who is 19, has left the nest to attend university in York. 

Amanda tells Ben she thinks growing up on the farm has taught Raven valuable lessons, such as cooking, making bread and budgeting – because she grew up helping Amanda around the house. 

Shepherdess Amanda explained she hoped the chores her children had to do on the farm would teach them that they all have to pinch in in order for their large family (pictured) to work 

The show has been on for five years and viewers have seen the family welcome new members. Viewers got a look back at how Amanda gave birth to Clemmie by herself on the farm after she was stuck without help in last night’s episode

All hands on deck! All the children, including the the youngest at four, help out around the farm. Sidney is pictured helping his sisters look after a dog

She also tells him she thinks her family are custodians of the farms and want to leave a ‘positive mark’ on it through their work. 

‘It’s cheesy to say it’s a lifestyle, but it really is a lifestyle and not a job,’ she tells Ben. 

As he returns to the farm, Ben is reminded of the physical work the family have to put in.

He is put to task by Clive and Amanda who ask him to help them herding and worming their sheep.  Amanda tells him she thinks she was ‘normal’ before she came to the farm, and that Ravenseat has allowed her to be herself and do her own thing. 

She’s penned the Yorkshire Shepherdess book series and tells Ben she’s learned the ‘awkward truth’ that you can get more money writing about farming than by farming yourself. 

‘I became aware of the fact children were interested about the life here with the children and the farm and I wrote about it and I became aware it can be more profitable to write about what you do than doing it,’ she says.

‘Now, that is a confusion but I still think to my self it still all comes back to farming and the sheep,’ she adds. 

Sheeping not sleeping! Amanda is pictured on the farm after a long day of looking after the sheep with one of her children

How now brown cow! Amanda is pictured walking her cows to pasture, viewers have praised her parenting skills and desire for rural life

‘Regardless of whether I’m herding the sheep or taking a picture of the sheep or actually writing about the sheep, it all still comes back to the sheep.

‘All those troubles they’re all there to be overcome, it keeps life interesting,’ she adds. 

Amanda grew up in a traditional three-bed house with her parents and one sibling in the large market town of Huddersfield.

At 6ft 2in she was encouraged to follow the same career path as her model mother, but she hated the clothes and make-up that she had to wear.

Then one day, she chanced upon a book about shepherding.

‘It was the pictures, the landscape, the haggard faces of the men gathering in the fells, and the dogs… I thought “that’s my dream”,’ she said on the Channel 5 show.

‘In fact I couldn’t believe that kind of life really existed,’ she added.

Amanda left her comfortable town life to work on farms around the country, but it’s when she knocked on the door of Ravenseat Farm that she found her calling.

‘I was destined to come here – I’m absolutely sure of it,’ she said.

Clive, then 42, lived on the 2,000-acre plot of land and, despite the 21-year age gap, the couple quickly fell in love and tied the knot in 2000.

The Owens started sharing their lives with viewers in July 2015, when the show first aired, The children have grown in the lens of the camera 

Not just for fair weather! Amanda gets out on the farm no matter what the weather and often posts pictures in the rain from wet and windy Yorkshire

They went on to have nine children – many of whom help out on the farm when they are not at school. Their traditional way of life helps keep costs down, too.

With the nearest shop so far away – and the risk during winter that they could be snowed in for weeks – Amanda buys food in bulk, and manages to feed her large family for just £130 a week.

Their water is free, channelled from the stream on the moor, and they heat the house and water with a roaring fire, which burns every day no matter what the weather.

The biggest utilities bill is electricity, which costs £160 per month.

They pay for their annual tenancy in the stone farmhouse with the profits made from farming – although this can be a struggle with 2,000 kilos of sheep’s wool going for just £65.

Ben Fogle: New Lives in the Wild airs tonight at 9pm on Channel 5. 

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