The former Top Gear presenter wanted to sell the crayfish to sell at his Diddly Squat farm shop

Jeremy Clarkson was furious with the Environment Agency (EA) after the body stopped him from catching and selling American crayfish at his Diddly Squat farm.

The 62-year-old presenter has been keen to restore his lake to his farm, funding the restoration by selling crayfish to make “glorified prawn cocktails” at the farm shop Diddly Squat.

But rusty crayfish are considered by the EA to be an ‘invasive’ species, as they have claimed 80% of UK rivers from native crustaceans.

American shellfish are also known to carry a deadly plague of crayfish. Plague kills native white-clawed crayfish.

The EA therefore strictly regulates who catches crayfish in UK rivers. Moreover, the government has forbidden to do so without the authorization of the EA.

Jeremy Clarkson at Memorial Hall in Chadlington, where he held a confrontational meeting with local residents over concerns about his farm shop in Oxfordshire.

The former Top Gear presenter wrote that he was willing to go through the regulatory channels put in place by “WFH bureaucrats” to get permission to trap American shellfish. He noted that he will check what kind of water it has, if it is flowing, what kind of trap and crayfish it is.

However, he was informed that: “The Environment Agency is currently unable to process crayfish capture requests.

The Doncaster-born broadcaster took aim at the government body.

He said the ‘problem’ was that he needed a permit to trap ‘invasive species, which means the government is forced to spend millions of pounds employing a team of people to establish and enforce rules about what can and cannot be done with them”.

Writing in The Sunday Times, Clarkson wrote that the EA had informed him that they would need to find out if the site was of “special scientific interest” and also specified the size of the traps used to catch the crayfish.

Jeremy Clarkson leaves the Noel Coward Theater in London after watching a performance of

Jeremy Clarkson leaves the Noel Coward Theater in London after seeing a performance of ‘Quiz’.

The father-of-three said: “We paid them to solve this problem. They sat there, in meetings, with biscuits that you and I bought, working, to the millimeter, on the size of a crayfish trap.”

He continued: “And then, after wading through all the bureaucracy and the rest of the farm wilting from my absence, I received a message saying, ‘The Environment Agency is currently not in able to process crayfish capture requests.

“Probably because they are all working from home.”

The upshot of this, the Who Wants To Be A Millionaire presenter insists, is that he “won’t fix the dam” and the lake he wanted to restore won’t be brought back to life.

He went on to say that the American crayfish “would wreak havoc.”

An endangered white-clawed crayfish.

An endangered white-clawed crayfish.

According to the EA, the fisheries management application was approved and issued in October 2021. However, the agency went on to say that an application for personal consumption of crayfish could not be authorized.

“Although there has been a delay in our services on authorizations to collect crayfish for personal consumption due to a lack of staff, we continue to process authorizations to collect crayfish for management purposes. fisheries, science and business as usual,” an EA spokeswoman said.

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“We are actively working to resume processing and determine crayfish permits for personal consumption in order to restart service as soon as possible.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has seen a message from Clarkson’s farm face about the farming industry and intends to respond, No 10 has said.

The broadcaster, 62, released a video on Monday morning calling on the government to tackle restrictions on farmers who diversify their produce.

Responding on Twitter, the official No 10 account said: ‘Thank you for this Jeremy, the Prime Minister has seen this and his response is coming.’