Vanessa Elizabeth Woodfield is the mother of Johnny Woodfield, the half-sister of Tracy Metcalfe and the daughter of Frank Clayton. She is also a partner in Emmerdale Veterinary Surgery

Vanessa is currently engaged to Charity Dingle.


1976-2012: Early lifeEdit

Vanessa Woodfield was born on 7th March 1976. Frank  left when Vanessa was about 10 years old and he had another daughter, Tracy. Vanessa has a stepdad, who's second name she adopted.

2012-2015: Arrival in EmmerdaleEdit

Vanessa arrived in the village on 10th December 2012. After Rhona fires her locum vet, she hires Vanessa, a friend from univeristy. Paddy  has heard wild stories about her and Paddy dreads her arrival. He feels isolated as Rhona greets her friend and as the day continues, Vanessa eyes up Andy in the pub and Paddy is annoyed to hear that she and Rhona are planning a night out. He worries about Vanessa bringing men back to the house, but is forced to apologise when she overhears him complaining. 

Vanessa later becomes a partner in the vets with Paddy. 

2015-2018: Long Lost FamilyEdit

In August 2016, Tracy's boyfriend David Metcalfe visited Frank in prison in the hope of reuniting Frank and Tracy, so that Frank could attend his wedding to Tracy. During the visit, Frank revealed he was being released early and had written to 'Teeny' about this, he had actually written to Vanessa not Tracy. Frank later contacted his daughter Vanessa, mistaking her for Tracy and confused Vanessa when he asked about her impending marriage Vanessa asked him to stop calling her 'Teeny' as he lost the right to call her that over thirty years ago, when she stopped calling him dad. 

Vanessa and Tracy then received phone calls disclosing that Frank is in hospital. While Leyla and Rhona tried to convince Vanessa to go and visit her father, David convinced Tracy to do the same. Vanessa visited Frank and they discussed Johnny and Frank saw pictures of his grandson. However, when Frank reminisced about a holiday in Skegness, this angered Vanessa, as she was not the child in Frank's story. As Vanessa went to leave, Frank's condition rapidly deteriorated. Meanwhile Tracy arrived and asked a nurse about Frank, but backs out when she tells Tracy that she is the second lady to visit Frank today. Vanessa then tells Leyla about Frank's seizure, and tells her she is glad she went to visit her father, as he is dead to her now.

Later, Vanessa reveals to Leyla that the hospital called to say they hope to bring her dad out of his coma the next day. When Vanessa headed to the hospital to see Frank she was confused when a nurse explained a woman named Tracy was also there to see Frank. Her confusion turned to shock when she spotted Tracy sitting at her father's bedside. Vanessa confronted Tracy, asking what she was doing at Frank's bedside, demanding to know why Tracy was there. At that moment, Frank woke up and Vanessa could not believe it when Tracy called Frank 'dad'.

Vanessa and Tracy argued after Vanessa referred to Tracy's mum as a skank. Leyla apologised to David when they learned the nurse looking after Frank was called Alex. Tracy questioned how Frank could allow her to grow up without telling her about her sister, as she'd always dreamed of having one. Vanessa admits she would've loved a little sister she could've looked after. Frank insists he would have loved them to know each other, but Vanessa's mother would never have allowed her near Tracy's mother.

Vanessa and Tracy then have a slanging match in the pub.  After Vanessa throws a pint over her new found sister's head, they pair end up scrapping before being broken apart by Carly .Vanessa later offered to cover the cost of any damage that her fight with Tracy caused and insisted she and Tracy have lived different lives, and they are different people. Vanessa brings Tracy some coffee and cake, and apologises for fighting and suggests Frank has played them both but Tracy orders her to go away. 

When David calls round to Tug Ghyll to talk to Vanessa about her and Tracy, he reveals it's Tracy's birthday tomorrow, and suggests it's a perfect time for them to make up, but Vanessa tells David that Tracy means nothing her and asks him to drop it, as neither she nor Tracy will appreciate his meddling. Later, Vanessa overhears Tracy telling Bernice about a present her dad got her for her birthday, and how stole it back a few days later. Vanessa then approaches David and tells him she's changed her mind, and wants to give Tracy the best party ever. Tracy's 90s themed 27th birthday party gets underway in The Woolpack, and Vanessa wishes her new-found sister happy birthday, before the pair hug. At the party, David, Vanessa, Tracy and Carly discuss the best and worst presents they have received, and Tracy comments how her best was a barbie car that was stolen. Vanessa admits she knew about the car, as Frank took it from Tracy and gave it to her, so Vanessa presents Tracy with a new barbie car. 

When Vanessa phones Frank, she informs him he can stay at Tug Ghyll with her upon his release, on the condition that he sorts things out with Tracy, and that he treat both of his daughters equally. Tracy later calls to apologise to Vanessa and Vanessa says sorry to Tracy for them not having the same opportunities growing up. Tracy decides to throw Johnny a birthday party, insisting no member of her family will feel the way she did on her birthdays. 

Vanessa is interrupted while she informs Tracy that their dad is being released tomorrow, and misses the chance to tell her about him moving to Tug Ghyll. She later tried again to tell her sister about their dad moving to the village but ends up agreeing try to make up for lost time with her sister by forgetting Frank's existence. When Vanessa returns to Emmerdale with Frank in tow, and reminds her father of her rules, they head to The Woolpack but meet Tracy who is speechless when she comes face to face with dad. Tracy can't believe Vanessa has kept Frank staying with her a secret, and insists Frank can drop dead, just as Frank collapses. 

Later, the two made up and became close, alongside Vanessa. Tracy eventually moved into Tug Ghyll with Vanessa and Johnny.

2018-2019: Suspension & StabbingsEdit

On 12th March 2018, Gabby and Liv go to raid Charity's alcohol stash in the Woolpack . As they are doing so, Charity and Vanessa enter and kiss on the sofa. Meanwhile, Gabby steals a vial of ketamine from Vanessa's bag. Vanessa notices the girls' bags and the two run away. Later at the Mill, Gabby reveals this to Liv. The next day in the Woolpack, Liv spikes Lisa's drink with the ketamine, believing it to be Daz '. Lisa collapses and is taken to hospital. An investigation is launched and Liv and Gabby confess to stealing the ketamine. Meanwhile, Vanessa informs the police of its dissappearance. Vanessa had disclosed this already to Rhona and when they reveal it to Paddy, it is shocked they did not report it straight away. Vanessa talks with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and updates them on the situation with the Ketamine theft. She frets as they want to do an inspection in a fortnight and fears she'll have the book thrown at her. 

Whilst Vanessa greets the RCVS inspector, Martin Henderson, Paddy notices Voldemort the snake has gone missing. Paddy however discovers that Martin is his old friend from veterinary school and the inspection weighs in Vanessa's favour. Vanessa spots Voldemort behind Martin and shouts. Although Martin pretends to be fuming he actually finds the whole episode hilarious and agrees to put in a good word for Vanessa with the RCVS, telling her he doesn't think there'll be any need for a suspension, to Vanessa's relief. Paddy suggests to Martin that they should have a reunion, recalling woman on their course with an abundance of facial hair. Paddy makes fun of her until Martin reveals she's his wife. He states he's now going to play things by the book now which leaves Vanessa fearing for her career leaving Paddy profusely apologising to a fuming Vanessa. 

Later,  Charity finds drunken Vanessa sitting in the surgery talking to Voldemort. Vanessa suggests Charity leaves her before she brings her down too, but Charity promises she's not going anywhere then sticks a fake mustache on Vanessa which raises a smile.

Vanessa goes for her hearing and returns with the news that she's been suspended for twelve months and is lucky she wasn't struck off. Rhona and Paddy agree to give her an admin job until her suspension is over.

In an attempt to target Belle Dingle, Donny Cairn decided to set fire to The Woolpack with Belle and her family inside.He was caught in the act by Vanessa who tried to stop Donny and a struggled ensued. Donny grabbed a broken bottle and stabbed Vanessa in the abdomen then took off in her car, unaware Vanessa's three-year-old son Johnny was in the back. When Donny realised Johnny was in the car, he decided to leave Johnny at the side of a road. However, Vanessa's girlfriend, Charity Dingle, found Donny and Johnny at the side of the road and rescued the toddler before having it out with Donny and beating him with a metal pole, restraining him until the police arrived. Vanessa made a full recovery in hospital and her near miss prompted Charity to propose the following week.

Relationships and AffairsEdit

Pete BartonEdit

In May 2014, Vanessa helps Moira prepare for her wedding day to Cain. After Moira's nephew, Pete Barton  has a bust-up with his girlfriend, Debbie Dingle, he confides in Vanessa and they kiss. They both regret it but Debbie sees them hugging.

Kirin KotechaEdit

In 2014, Vanessa goes on a night out and has a one-night stand with a young man, who appears to be in his 20s. She boasts to Leyla Harding about her new boyfriend and realizes it is Priya Sharma's soon-to-be 17-year-old stepson, Kirin Kotecha, and there is a 21 year age gap. She visits Kirin and they agree to continue their relationship in secret but are caught by Priya and Leyla. Priya demands Vanessa and Kirin end their relationship for good but Vanessa and Kirin are caught again by Paddy. Kirin later tells Priya and Rakesh about his relationship with Vanessa, angering Priya. After months of dating Kirin, Vanessa decides to end their relationship, fearing being subjected to gossip. Kirin goes out drinking and while driving his father's car home, he collides with Moira's van and sends her sliding off the road. She is rushed to the hospital and Kirin faces Moira's husband, Cain. Vanessa is furious with Kirin but forgives him and they reconcile. On his birthday, Kirin notices a lump on one of Vanessa's breasts and they both fear it could be cancer. Kirin promises to support her and Vanessa books a hospital appointment but fails to do so. This leads to Rhona supports Vanessa but gets the all clear.

While taking a break from her relationship with Kirin, Vanessa has a drink with Adam as they are both upset with their respective partners and have a drunken one night stand. They agree to keep it a secret, not wanting to risk hurting Kirin and Adam's girlfriend, Victoria Sugden, and try to carry on with their lives. However, Vanessa learns that she is pregnant and isn't sure who is the father. She tells Rhona, who tells her that if she keeps the baby, she has to tell Kirin and Adam. Kirin is ecstatic at the thought of becoming a father but Adam is terrified. Kirin and Vanessa tell Rakesh that she is pregnant and he demands Vanessa have an abortion. Vanessa refuses and Adam tells Moira that the baby could be his, which strains her friendship with Vanessa. Unable to deal with the stress, Vanessa books a DNA test with Adam present. However, when the nurse leaves, Kirin arrives and Adam hides upstairs. When Adam's mobile phone rings, Kirin realizes that he is upstairs and believes that they are having an affair. Vanessa tells him that it is not an affair but Adam could be the baby's father. Kirin then tells Victoria, leaving her disgusted. The following day, Victoria slaps Vanessa but Rhona intervenes. Not wanting his son to be a father yet, Rakesh steals the test results which show that the baby is Kirin's and edits them to make everyone believe that Adam is the father.

Rhona GoskirkEdit

Rhona invites Vanessa to Emmerdale after she fires her locum vet. Paddy becomes jealous of Vanessa and Rhona's friendship. Vanessa later humiliates him in front of Edna Birch, when they discuss payment for her dog's treatment.

In the local pub, Vanessa eyes up Andy Sugden at the bar and suggests that she and Rhona go on a night out. When Vanessa goes to Butler's Farm, she walks in on Moira Barton and Cain Dingle kissing. She returns the next day and apologizes to Moira. They sit down together and tell each other about their pasts. Vanessa is distraught when Katie Addyman's horse dies whilst in her care. Katie threatens to sue Vanessa but Rhona helps calm the situation down.

Paddy later helps Vanessa look for a flat but she is distracted by a fire across the road. Vanessa learns that Rhona is addicted to painkillers, after becoming hooked after having trouble with back ache. She tries to help Rhona but it just gets worse. When Rhona and Paddy go on a weekend away with friends Marlon Dingle and Laurel Thomas, Rhona buys painkillers and takes them. As a result, Rhona misses Leo's first steps and tells Paddy that she does not feel well, asking him to take her home but then go back to the cabin while Vanessa looks after her. Vanessa confronts her about stealing painkillers from Sandy Thomas, leaving him in severe pain. Rhona denies it until Vanessa says she can have more painkillers if she admits it and she does. Vanessa then refuses to give her anything and Rhona slaps Vanessa. Vanessa then tells Rhona that she needs professional help for her addiction. Vanessa realizes that she has feelings for Rhona and tries to help Rhona wean herself off the painkillers. Eventually, Vanessa realizes what she is doing and warns Rhona that if she doesn't stop, she will end up in the hospital or even worse dead. Rhona ignores this and pushes Vanessa to give her drugs. Vanessa eventually tells Rhona how she feels but Rhona rejects her, claiming her feelings are "wrong". Vanessa is distraught but continues to give her the painkillers. Rhona eventually visits a drug dealer for more drugs but starts coughing up blood, so Vanessa takes her to the hospital. On their return, Paddy confronts Rhona as he thinks she is cheating on him. When he tries to look at her phone, Rhona lashes out and hits him repeatedly but Vanessa supports Rhona and wanting more drugs, Rhona reveals that she is in love with Vanessa and kisses her passionately. Vanessa and Rhona begin a brief affair but are rumbled when Paddy catches them kissing. Paddy refuses to believe Rhona is a lesbian and stays with Marlon and Laurel. Rhona tells Vanessa that she was only using her to get painkillers, insulting her and throws her out. Vanessa stays with Moira and learns that Rhona has overdosed and meets Marlon and Paddy at the hospital. There, Vanessa tells Marlon, Paddy, and Moira that Rhona is addicted to painkillers and why she lied to Paddy. Paddy attacks Vanessa but Marlon and Moira restrain him. Rhona wakes up and Paddy tells her that he knows about her addiction before throwing Vanessa's belongings out on the street. Angrily, Vanessa tells Pearl Ladderbanks that she and Rhona kissed, making Pearl wonder if Rhona is a lesbian before moving in with Moira, Cain and Moira's son Adam Barton. Moira tells her that Rhona will be released from the hospital soon.

Rhona is discharged and decides to go "cold turkey", rather than go to rehab. Vanessa learns of this and is concerned for Rhona's welfare. Paddy threatens to sack Vanessa but she reminds him that she is a partner, so he cannot and buys Nikhil Sharma's house. Following Cameron Murray's hostage siege at The Woolpack, Diane Sugden and Chas Dingle stay with her until the pub is complete. When Declan Macey evicts Dom Andrews and his daughter, Gemma, Vanessa gives them a place to stay. Vanessa accompanies Dom to the hospital when Gemma is found unconscious and is upset when Gemma dies. She attends Gemma's funeral and helps Dom through the day.

Charity DingleEdit

At the funeral of Finn Barton on 12th October 2017, Vanessa ends up locked in the Woolpack cellar with Charity Dingle , who confesses that she has had an eye on her. Charity kisses Vanessa and the two spend the night together, only to be busted by Paddy the next morning. Vanessa, confused about her sexuality, goes on a date with Daz Spencer but she cannot bring herself to go any further with him. Later in the Woolpack , in the company of Daz and Frank , Charity outs Vanessa and discloses that they spent the night together, declaring 'Its Okay! You can be gay!'. Charity continues to tease Vanessa and act nonchalant while Vanessa struggles to come to terms with her sexuality. Rhona is apprehensive about their relationship due to Charity's reputation but Vanessa tells her 'She's fun, she makes me laugh. My heart... it beats a bit faster when she walks in the room'. Vanessa is determined to prove the village wrong about Charity. 

As Charity goes through a particularly difficult court case against Mark Bails, Vanessa is constantly supportive and the two become closer. Eventually Charity realises that she may actually care for Vanessa and they become official 'girlfriend and girlfriend' on the 22nd February 2018. On September 27th, Charity admits she loves Vanessa - who feels the same. On 13th December, Vanessa and Johnny move from Tug Ghyll into the Woolpack. 

On 10th January 2019 , Vanessa is stabbed by Donny Cairn as she attempts to stop him setting fire to the Woolpack. Charity realises she cannot cope without Vanessa and her support and decides to propose. Chairty is stressed about how to do so as she cannot think of anything worthy enough and seeks help from Chas and Tracy .

Outside the Woolpack on 17th January (Episodes 8369/8370), Charity talks to Megan , who discloses she is helping to plan a proposal at Home Farm for a client. Charity rushes to Home Farm and poses as Megan's boss, locking the client Miles in a cupboard. She calls Tracy who has Rhona drive her and Vanessa to Home Farm. Charity tells the employees that the Miles is no longer proposing but as they have gone to the trouble of being there, they can help her instead. When Vanessa arrives, the two get into the horse and carriage. As it pulls away, Megan and Miles begin shouting as Tracy and Rhona are left confused. Charity hastily proposes to Vanessa who is in awe and asks if Charity has done all this for her. Vanessa very quickly realises however that Charity has stolen Miles' proposal and tells her no. 

A distraught Charity gets drunk at Home Farm while Vanessa, Tracy and Rhona head back to the village disgusted. Charity expresses her feelings for Vanessa to Tracy which she feeds back to her sister and Vanessa returns to Home Farm to find Charity drunk. She tells Charity that she doesn't need a big proposal as she's happy whenever they're together and Charity proposes again. This time Vanessa says yes just as the fireworks from Miles' original proposal go off and the two enjoy them together. 

The next day in the Woolpack, Charity and Vanessa announce to their friends and family that 'she put a ring on it!'. 

Background informationEdit

  • The idea to make Tracy and Vanessa half-siblings was presented to producer Iain MacLeod by the actresses, Michelle Hardwick and Amy Walsh. Michelle and Amy felt they looked similar and pointed out their characters both had an unknown father in prison. 


  • 'I'd say, what have you done with my girlfriend' (to Charity Dingle as they become official)
  • 'Well, I'm in for the duration so, bring it on' (to Charity Dingle)
  • 'She's fun... it's fun, she makes me laugh, I'm happier when she walks in the room y'know... my heart... it beats a little bit faster' (to Rhona about Charity)


  • Vanessa arrives in Emmerdale
  • Vanessa and Tracy find out they are sisters
  • Tracy and Vanessa visit Frank in hospital
  • Charity and Vanessa's first kiss
  • Charity and Vanessa say 'I love you'
  • Vanessa is stabbed by Donny Cairn
  • Charity's first proposal to Vanessa
  • Charity and Vanessa get engaged
  • Vanessa at Finn Barton's funeral
  • Vanessa's first cast photo
  • Vanessa at the vets
Current characters
Robert Sugden | Eric Pollard | Victoria Barton | Zak Dingle | Sam Dingle | Marlon Dingle | Paddy Kirk | Bernice Blackstock | Belle Dingle | Diane Sugden | Cain Dingle | Charity Dingle | Bob Hope | Rodney Blackstock | Faith Dingle | Nicola King | Rhona Goskirk | Gabby Thomas | Laurel Thomas | Chas Dingle | Debbie Dingle | Pearl Ladderbanks | Aaron Dingle | Jimmy King | Noah Dingle | Sarah Sugden | Samson Dingle | David Metcalfe | Cathy Hope | Heath Hope | Doug Potts | Arthur Thomas | Brenda Walker | Leyla Harding | Moira Dingle | Matty Barton | Angelica King | Jai Sharma | Priya Kotecha | Jacob Gallagher | Elliot Windsor | Leo Goskirk | Amelia Spencer | Rishi Sharma | Dan Spencer | Kyle Winchester | Megan Macey | Kerry Wyatt | Jack Sugden | Vanessa Woodfield | Harriet Finch | Pete Barton | Liam Cavanagh | April Windsor | Amba Metcalfe | Tracy Metcalfe | Carl Holliday | Moses Dingle | Johnny Woodfield | Liv Flaherty | Eliza Macey | Frank Clayton | Dotty Thomas | Lydia Hart | Graham Foster | Isaac Dingle | Jessie Dingle | Leanna Cavanagh | Maya Stepney | Dawn Taylor | Ryan Stocks | Manpreet Jutla | Ellis Chapman | Billy Fletcher