Teen staff at Jeremy Clarkson’s Diddly Squat farm forced to wear body cameras over ‘abuse’ from villagers
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Teen staff working at Jeremy Clarkson’s Diddly Squat farm are forced to wear body cameras due to ‘abuse’ from some locals, according to a former employee.
Fans will recall the row between West Oxfordshire District Council and the former Top Gear star which was featured in the second series of Clarkson’s Farm.
The battle from both sides over a planning application to expand Diddly Squat’s car park at his shop is still raging on, as some locals describe the business as a ‘menace’ because of all the people who travel there after watching the hit series.
In a hearing on Wednesday (15 March) Annabel Gray, 32, who worked on a catering trailer at the farm, said that employees aged 16 were forced to ‘wear body cameras’ as a precaution because of the abuse directed at them from customers.
"Diddly Squat has an important opportunity to educate people about local farming and I find it really frustrating that the council is overlooking that,” she said during the hearing. “There are few places about where you can experience where we get food from.
"Jeremy’s following do not have that great a knowledge about farming – I have had to explain to people that beef burgers come from a cow – and they travel long distances with the hope they might see him, but also to experience farming they have seen on TV.
She continued: “They buy something that’s being produced by the local farming community and they are wowed by it and then they go and seek it out in their local communities.
“This is a massive, massive opportunity for West Oxfordshire District Council. I am begging you that this is something that can be improved on rather than turn your back on."
Meanwhile, villager Hilary Moore said that customers don’t necessarily come to support local produce – they just want an opportunity to show off their motors and support the 62-year-old TV personality.
She said: "I don’t think the people who come are particularly respectful. They come in their cars with their souped-up engines. They are motorheads, they are not here to support our little farm shop.”
She added: “They idolise this gentleman and they want to show off their cars. We have been disrupted by them in the two-and-a-half years since it’s been open. It’s ruining our area.”
The farm is located between Chadlington and Chipping Norton and has become a very popular destination for Clarkson fanatics.
Earlier this month the council hit back at the way Clarkson’s Amazon series presented the planning meeting that led to the refusal of the Diddly Squat expansion.
A spokesperson said: "The planning meeting shown in Clarkson’s Farm ran for well over an hour but was covered in a matter of minutes in the show.
"This meant that a lot of discussion from the meeting was missed, including a lot of very relevant legal planning advice and discussion that informed the decision taken by councillors."