Trees A Crowd


Amanda Owen: Deep in the Dales with the Yorkshire Shepherdess

Season 1, Ep. 19

Amanda Owen is a farmer, known to readers and television viewers worldwide as the ‘Yorkshire Shepherdess’. With her husband Clive and their nine children, she looks after Ravenseat, Swaledale – one of the most exposed farms in the Dales. Alongside running the farm, she has found time to write a number of books, having come to public attention on ITV's ‘The Dales’. On a “glishy sort of day”, sitting by a brook, David and Amanda chat without the distraction of phones and technology in this stunning signal ‘not spot’, interrupted only by a passing heron. Amanda, having grown up in the city, admits finding inspiration to become a hill shepherd from reading James Heriot's All Creatures Great and Small, and the couple wax lyrical about how a place like this, open and wild, builds one’s character.

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Dr Helen Pheby: Sculpture for sheep, and rhubarb trains; the place ‘Extraordinary’ can happen

Season 2, Ep. 7
Dr Helen Pheby is the head of curatorial programmes at Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Set in 500 acres of historic parkland, the park has provided a “gallery without walls” for artists such as Elisabeth Frink, Auguste Rodin, Giuseppe Penone, and local legends such as Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore. Helen has collaborated on projects in Iraqi Kurdistan, South Africa, India, and even Barnsley! Born in the so-called ‘rhubarb triangle’, Helen reminisces over “the rhubarb express”, a train which ran from her village in Yorkshire to London, and muses over how magical it was being able to see the contrast between rural and urban environments. In this insightful conversation, Helen explains how she believes creativity and art is a human right, how the YSP was visited by Henry VIII, and how another Henry, Henry Moore, believed it was the job of artists to show people the natural world and subsequently designed artwork for sheep. She explains how the Sculpture Park aims to be inclusive, free from the barriers of social standing, wealth and a gender imbalance that art is often associated with. Subsequently, the YSP is now home to brain-controlled helicopters, women on horseback steeplechasing through the landscapes of the First World War, and all of this second to the migratory routes of the Great Crested Newt. In her own words: “We are places the extraordinary can happen.” For more information on this podcast, including David's thoughts following this interview, head to: