Yorkshire Shepherdess Amanda Owen has slammed a troll who said her children ‘won’t cope in real world’ after an unconventional upbringing on the ‘quaint’ farm.
The mother-of-nine, 46, lives with her brood and her husband Clive Owen, 66, at 2,000 acre Ravenseat farm in the Yorkshire Dales after moving to the land in 1996 to train as a shepherdess.
Amanda has grown a large fan following thanks to the popularity of Channel 5 show, Our Yorkshire Farm. However, she has now hit back at a troll who criticised her for the ‘unconventional’ way in which she’s chosen to raise her brood.
Speaking on Sophie Ellis Bextor’s podcast, she commented: ‘They [my children] are getting really good life lessons they can translate and take to any other life wherever that should be – whether it’s in the countryside or in the city.
Yorkshire Shepherdess Amanda Owen (pictured), 46, has slammed a troll who commented that her children ‘won’t cope in real world’
Going strong: Amanda met her husband in 1996 when he was already divorced with two children, after she arrived at his farm as a 21-year-old trainee shepherdess
‘Because people say [to me], “Oh they are not growing up in the real world, they’ll never be able to cope with real life.”‘
‘But they are actually learning lessons, that will set them up really well to be people who are hands-on and people who’ve got a degree of common sense and can do things.’
Amanda went on to say that one of her nine children even learned how to ride a bike without any help from the parents, noting that this is an indication of their independence.
The Yorkshire shepherdess previously appeared on poet Simon Armitage’s BBC Radio 4 podcast, where she told how she will leave it up to her children to decide if they wish to become shepherds and stay on the family farm.
‘I don’t look that far ahead,’ she explained. ‘I say to the children they can be whatever they want to be and go wherever they want to go.
‘Of course they go through stages where they’re more enthusiastic about the countryside, as they get older into their teens, obviously they want to go away.
Full house! The writer, 46, and her husband Clive, 67, share Raven, 20, Reuben, 17, Miles, 15, Edith, 12, Violet, ten, Sidney, nine, Annas, seven, Clementine, five, and four-year-old Nancy
Following in mummy’s footsteps: Clemmie (pictured L) rehomes a lost chick and the girls find a brood of fledgling kestrels nesting in one of their traditional stone hayloft
‘Raven (her eldest child) when she went to York, she was heading to the bright lights, couldn’t wait to get to a place where her phone worked and she could order a takeaway without it being cold and stuck to the paper – it’s all brilliant.
‘But you know within a month or two I’m getting text messages asking how to make Yorkshire pudding tins out of bean cans and can you prove a loaf of bread on a radiator when you haven’t got on open fire.
‘So it’s instilled into you the kind of life you lead in the countryside.’
Back in April, the writer blamed parents for today’s ‘snowflake’ generation of children who cannot look after themselves.
The sheepherder suggested today’s youngsters had ‘no sense of independence’ or work ethic.
‘The snowflake generation, they can’t do anything,’ a harsh Amanda told the Radio Times. ‘They don’t know anything about how to look after themselves, or a work ethic, all of that has gone out of the window. It’s our fault as parents.
Amanda and Clive with Raven, 20, Reuben, 17, Miles, 15, Edith, 12, Violet, ten, Sidney, nine, Annas, seven, Clementine, five, and four-year-old Nancy
Free spirits! The doting parent said she has instilled independence in her children (Owen is pictured with some of her children on the Moors)
‘If you put your child on a pedestal, with no sense of independence, and think you have got to entertain them the whole time, what can you expect?
‘I rebuff swaddling children, because I want to see them go on and do well and be themselves, whatever that is. I feel like it is their life and all I do is prepare them.
‘What we do on the farm, hopefully, is preparation for the big world. The lessons they get here will stand them in good stead.’
Amanda met her husband in 1996 when he was already divorced with two children, after she arrived at his farm as a 21-year-old trainee shepherdess.
Amanda grew up in a traditional three-bed house with her parents and one sibling in the large market town of Huddersfield.
In April, the sheepherder (pictured) blamed parents for today’s ‘snowflake’ generation of children who cannot look after themselves
At 6ft 2in, the blonde 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.
She 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.
Many of her children help out on the farm when they are not at school – or travelling to and from as the journey takes one-and-a-half hours each way.
‘In order to make a big family work they all need to tow the line. It’s not about child labour – it’s about pulling together,’ Amanda told the Daily Mail in an article in 2018.
With the nearest shop so far away – and the risk during winter that they could be snowed in for weeks – the TV star 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.