A DALES farmer has given birth in a lay-by for the third time.

Amanda Owen, who lives on a remote 2,000 acre farm near Kirkby Stephen, was on her way to Northallerton hospital in an ambulance when nature took its course.

The now mother-of-seven only made it three miles before giving birth to a little girl in a lay-by at Keld.

But for Amanda and husband Clive, last week’s drama was not the first time a pregnancy did not go to plan.

“I suppose we got away with it again,” said the 38-year-old.

Three other children have been involved in births outside of the hospital - Edith, four, at West Witton lay-by and Sidney, 18 months, at Reeth lay-by. And seven-year-old Miles was born at Catterick Garrison.

“Because where we live is so remote, ambulances will not come unless they are sure I am in labour and I cannot have a home birth because I am deemed high risk. It is a catch-22 situation.”

The week-old tot, who is yet to be named, was born weighing a healthy seven pounds.

“It only took ten minutes from stopping to having a new baby. I told the ambulance to just take me home but I had to go to hospital.”

The youngster will join the busy Ravenseat Farm, where the family have about 900 sheep.

“We had a nurse come around to show me some exercises. I said I will just carry on working because it is the same movements for sheep shearing.”

Amanda said she had six weeks to choose a name and was in no rush to decide.

“There’s been a lot of good suggestions and some not so good. The children want to call her Marjorie Kitten - I can be talked into most things, but not this,” she said.

The baby will join Miles, Edith and Sidney with Raven, 12, Rueben, nine and Violet, three, but Amanda remains coy about adding to the brood.

“We don’t plan things like this, there may or may not be more.”