Climate protester arrested over approaching Sir David Attenborough at restaurant

A climate change protester has been arrested after reportedly approaching Sir David Attenborough at a Michelin-star restaurant on the south coast.

Dorset Police said Emma Smart, 45, was arrested on Thursday evening after allegedly causing a disturbance and refusing to comply with officers after they asked her to leave Catch At The Old Fish Market in Weymouth.

Animal Rebellion, the protest group behind Smart, said she approached the table where Sir David was dining in an attempt to deliver a letter to him, and shared images of her being dragged away by police at 8.45pm.

Smart, an ecologist from Weymouth, said she wanted a five-minute conversation with Sir David about the need to address climate change.

Insulate Britain protests
Ecologist Emma Smart outside HMP Bronzefield, in Surrey, following her release from the prison on January 14 (Aaron Chown/PA)

According to Animal Rebellion, a group calling for a plant-based food system and a mass re-wilding programme, Smart targeted his visit to the Catch restaurant because of its expensive seafood menu.

She said in a statement: “The Catch is a symbol of excess and inequality in today’s world, Weymouth has average wages amongst the lowest in the UK and is at huge risk of sea level rises.

“Yet this restaurant still continues business as usual amongst the worst cost-of-living crisis many will ever experience.

“We don’t need another documentary series showing us that we are losing, some 150 species going extinct globally every single day.

61st Rose d’Or Awards
Sir David Attenborough was approached by climate change protester Emma Smart while dining at a restaurant in Weymouth on Thursday (Victoria Jones/PA)

“What we need is action.

“Sir David is in a unique position to tell the truth about the biodiversity crisis.

“He has the chance to leave a legacy of love, care, and of being the forerunner of a better world.”

Smart was previously imprisoned at HMP Bronzefield in Surrey over an Insulate Britain climate protest.

She was released in January, and during her time in the prison she was moved to the hospital wing after undertaking a hunger strike over her sentence.

Her letter to the climate documentary presenter read: “Dear David, I still want to meet you!

“I’m from Weymouth – my community will be devastated in the climate crisis.

“Today is the one year anniversary that I went to prison for peacefully protesting government inaction.

“There are 35 ordinary people in prison right now for environmental protest.

“Please speak up for them. For all life on earth.

“I’m a scientist. A biologist. Please meet with me – just five min.

“Love and hope, Emma Smart.”

Smart was charged with failing to comply with a Section 35 direction and is due to appear at Weymouth Magistrates’ Court on December 21.