Inside the heartbreaking secret rift of Our Yorkshire Farm as Clive's unknown daughter Rosie says bond beyond repair
TO millions of adoring fans, Ravenseat Farm is the idyllic home of Clive and Amanda Owen and their nine charming children.
But behind the Channel 5 series Our Yorkshire Farm lies a sadder tale for Clive’s oldest daughter, Rosie.
The 34-year-old has revealed how her relationship with her dad and shepherdess stepmum Amanda has soured beyond repair.
Rosie, one of two children from Clive’s first marriage, grew up at Ravenseat but now says she cannot bear to even drive past the farm in the Yorkshire Dales’ Upper Swaledale. She adds: “Millions tune in to see this idyllic farm on the TV but they don’t know the heartache behind it.”
Rosie was just three when her parents moved to Ravenseat in 1989. She has fond memories of jumping in cow pats, making potions in the barns and going on long dog walks on the 2,000-acre “dream farm”.
But her cherished childhood crashed in 1995 when her parents ended their 13-year marriage after “falling out of love”. Her mother left, taking Rosie, then nine, and her 11-year-old brother to live 25 minutes away in Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria.
Rosie says her bond with Clive, 67, deteriorated after Amanda, 46, knocked on his door for a work errand in 1995. When she arrived to ask about using one of his rams for sheep breeding, the house was run down, with damp carpets and smoke-stained wallpaper.
The moment Rosie realised her dad, then 42, was in love with the 21-year-old shepherdess was when she found a Valentine’s Day card signed “Love, Amanda” in Clive’s car.
‘Worried I’d lose my dad’
Rosie was living with her mum but would stay at Ravenseat on the weekends. It was on one such stay that she first met Amanda.
Rosie says: “She was sitting in the kitchen with my mother, talking. I can’t remember what they were talking about. I think my mother introduced me to her and I thought, ‘Wow, she’s beautiful’. She was quite pleasant, said hello and off she went. They weren’t arguing.”
Rosie was 13 when Clive and Amanda married in 2000, and the couple asked her to be a bridesmaid. But Rosie says: “On the eve of the wedding I started crying because I was worried about losing my dad. It was awful. I used to feel really self-conscious, thinking, ‘What’s wrong with me? What have I done? Am I saying and doing the right things?’”
Eventually Rosie stopped visiting Ravenseat and she says Clive has not called to invite her over or asked why she stopped going. She says: “It feels like my childhood disappeared. My childhood home has been completely taken away from me.”
TV viewers previously marvelled at Amanda and Clive’s life bringing up their children — three boys and six girls aged four to 20 — in remote Upper Swaledale during 2011 ITV series The Dales with Ade Edmondson. They also appeared on telly with Julia Bradbury on Coast To Coast and New Lives In The Wild with Ben Fogle.
Former model Amanda then wrote a series of best-selling books about life at the farm, putting pen to paper after her children had gone to bed. And in 2018 the family were given their own series, Our Yorkshire Farm. As well as starring in the hit show, Amanda is bringing out a cook book and a calendar featuring the family on the farm.
I attempted to watch the show the first few times but I lasted about five minutes and ended up in tears.
She also teamed up with a hotel chain to produce Ewe Tube, a streaming platform to help people sleep by counting sheep at Ravenseat. The latest and fourth TV series, which featured the Owen family during lockdown, consistently attracted nearly four million viewers, making it Channel 5’s best-watched programme.
And Amanda, who has 392,000 followers on Instagram, has hinted that more episodes will be screened soon. Rosie will not be tuning in, and admits: “I attempted to watch the show the first few times but I lasted about five minutes and ended up in tears.
“So I switched off and have never watched anything since. I immediately turn it over. It breaks my heart because it is like watching a past that I haven’t been in for years. It’s like a family that I’d love to belong to but I just don’t.”
Rosie says she struggles to avoid painful reminders of her loss, as her famous relatives often pop up while she scrolls through social media. She adds: “My memories of Ravenseat are beautiful, I loved the place.
“I remember feeling free and peaceful and happy and just roaming around, exploring. I used to make potions in the barns and get bits and bobs from the pantry and take them to the barns and pretend I was cooking and the little barn was my house.
“I’d take the dogs for long walks and jump on piles of cowpats and it was a beautiful place to grow up. I miss it dearly. I wish I could reconnect with the place, I really do.”
‘Scars that run deep’
Rosie, who has two daughters, aged 16 and six, and a 13-year-old son, feels she missed out on a consistent male role model to show her what a healthy adult relationship looks like.
She says her kids do not have a bond with her dad, who they call Clive, instead of Grandad. She adds: “They are really good kids who are doing amazingly well so I’m obviously doing something right.”
It is estimated that Amanda has amassed £1million. But Rosie, who survives on minimum wage from her job as a barmaid, feels left out financially.
Like Clive, Rosie’s 36-year-old brother is also a farmer, working 120 acres in Kirkby Stephen. In July 2018 Rosie married a factory worker and they now share a rented home together in Kirkby Stephen with her children.
Clive nearly missed their register office wedding because it clashed with filming. He walked her down the aisle but had to leave before the reception so did not give a speech.
A photo taken on Rosie’s big day shows them standing together at the ceremony. But she did not invite Amanda. Out of Clive and Amanda’s new family, Rosie says she only has a proper relationship with their oldest daughter. She says: “I love them all but I feel I haven’t had a chance to have a relationship with them.”
They are living this wonderful life with all this success and I’m here with scars that run deep.
And Rosie feels pain seeing Clive and Amanda being doting parents to their nine kids. She adds: “They are living this wonderful life with all this success and I’m here with scars that run deep.”
Amanda was barely older than a teenager when she entered into a relationship with Clive, and Rosie suspects she felt threatened by his young daughter.
Rosie is a talented artist. She put it to one side but took it up again during the lockdown but takes commissions for paintings.
She heaps praise on her mum, who recently became ill and is now living in a care home. Rosie says: “Mum has been brilliant, overcompensating for Dad and helping with my kids.
“Obviously I’d like to be involved in my dad’s life again but I can’t see it happening. There’s a lot of hurt and anger and disappointment.
“It feels a faraway dream that I could go and see my brothers and sisters at Ravenseat.
Ideally, it would be nice for my family to be involved with his family, but that doesn’t seem like it’s a reality.
“Ideally, it would be nice for my family to be involved with his family, but that doesn’t seem like it’s a reality. I still dream about Amanda now. I dream that we are friends and everything is fine.
"We are sitting down having a normal conversation, like mother and stepdaughter, just a normal relationship. I have them to this day.
“But somehow I don’t see that happening, which is sad.” Clive and Amandadeclined to comment.
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