Saturday 29 April 2017

Yorkshire Shepherdess author admits: My heart lies in farming

The author and TV presenter lives and works in the Yorkshire Dales
The author and TV presenter lives and works in the Yorkshire Dales

She has written a bestseller and is back on TV screens for the latest series of Countrywise: Guide To Britain, but Amanda Owen has vowed that her heart lies in being a shepherd.

The mother-of-nine said she does not even consider herself a writer, after penning two books about her life as The Yorkshire Shepherdess.

"I'm a sodbuster, a farmer, a shepherd... I'm not an author," she told Radio Times.

"There's nothing wrong with looking over the hill, doing a few bits of other things, that's astute, but I make my living from chasing sheep about."

In her book, A Year In The Life Of The Yorkshire Shepherdess, the 41-year-old shares candid stories about the mistakes that can be made when raising a large family and looking after livestock.

These include "once chopping one of the kids' fingers off in the door".

Describing the book as "realistic," she said: "I never want to come over as a smug mum. I try to get it across that I make mistakes."

Originally from Huddersfield, Owen gave up the city life to become a herdswoman, falling in love at the age of 21 with her now husband, Clive.

The pair now manage Ravenseat's 1,000-strong flock, as well as their own, from their 2,000-acre hill farm in Swaledale in the north of the Yorkshire Dales.

Her book also shares the details of the moment she gave birth to her eighth child last year, alone in her living room after a four-minute labour.

It was only after her little one was born that she went upstairs to wake Clive and update him.

She made headlines with the story but, far from searching for a spiritual experience, she revealed she was just "cheesed off" with with trying to get to the "flipping hospital".

"Not getting there on time and giving birth at the side of the road is stressful," she said.

"I decided that if I was brave enough I would do it myself because I knew Clive would be very worried if he knew. So I only woke him up afterwards."

:: Owen and her family feature regularly on the ITV show, currently showing on Sunday mornings. Read more in this week's issue of Radio Times.

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