Jeremy Clarkson gives insight into 'busy night' on the farm
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Villagers who live close to Jeremy Clarkson’s Diddly Squat farm shop have once again voiced concerns over its place in the local area. A constant stream of excited fans of “Britain’s most unlikely farmer” arrive on a daily basis in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds, waiting in line for at least an hour to buy milk, honey and vegetables from the small shop they have travelled the length of the country to visit. The shop was one of the projects Clarkson undertook in his Amazon Prime series Clarkson’s Farm.
But the long queues and competition for business has sparked anger in the village of Chadlington, as seen during a meeting hosted by the former Top Gear presenter last week.
According to The Guardian, one resident said: “I walk my dog up the lane, there’s no pavement, it’s quite dark, they are racing up and down there. You can do a whole circuit.
“You see gangs of young lads walking about. We’re just not used to it.
“We never had this before. I really don’t mind Jeremy. It’s great he’s bringing business to the area. But it’s the people he’s attracting.”
This isn’t the first time the shop has come under fire from locals, as Clarkson admitted himself in a column for The Times in March.
He ranted about the attitudes of some of his fellow villagers, claiming some were bitter in his characteristically sarcastic tone.
Clarkson said: “The problem is simple: in a village, most people are charming and happy to smile and wave at the appropriate time, but there is always a tiny minority who are bitter and whose mouths look like cats’ anuses.
“These people are usually called ‘parish councillors’ and seniority in this weird world is achieved by having lived in the area for a long time.
“That’s it. So, if you are the sort of person whose horizon is located on your nose end, and you’ve never been further afield than Chuntsworthy, you’re the village elder.”
He also spoke of how his farm has caused anger amongst locals.
He added: “My farm shop is tiny but it seems to have landed in this part of the Cotswolds like a nuclear weapon full of sarin gas.
“We all know that planning regulations are necessary and we all know that parish council enthusiasts are entitled to register their opposition, but there are some people in the countryside who literally do nothing all day long but object to stuff.
“They are made entirely from a blend of skin and hate.”
In fact, Clarkson said villagers had sent him a letter complaining that he was sourcing his stock from outside Oxfordshire, as well as other problems with his farm.
He continued: “My shop had only been open a few days when we received a stern letter warning us that our rather lovely ice cream had been made from the juice of cows that lived eight miles away, in Gloucestershire, and that this contravened a clause that said that we could only sell produce from West Oxfordshire.
“Since then we’ve been told that the roof is the wrong colour, that the sign is 0.3 of a metre too wide, that we aren’t allowed to sell teas and coffees, that the gingham covering on the straw bales contravenes Covid regulations, that the car park is a road safety hazard, that the sausage rolls are wrong in some unfathomable way, and that if we were allowed to sell beer, yobbos would come and urinate in the graveyard.”
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Cameras have followed Jeremy on his farm in Chipping Norton for two years now.
The show highlights how he has had to contend with disobedient animals, problematic weather, broken tractors, unresponsive crops, strict insecticide laws and also the pandemic.
Speaking of how he got into farming, Jeremy told the BBC: “I’ve had the farm since 2008, but I haven’t really been involved with it at all.
“A man in the village ran it, and then he retired, and I don’t know what it was, but I just thought, ‘I can do that’.
“I genuinely thought you put seeds in the ground, weather happens and then food grows.
“So I thought, ‘That’s not difficult’, but it’s phenomenally difficult and the heartache is extraordinary, plus it’s phenomenally badly paid.
“So I thought, if I get someone to film me doing it, that will offset some of the losses.”
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