United Kingdom

The one lesson I've learned from life: Chris Packham says shout above the noise  

Chris Packham CBE, 59, is a conservationist and TV presenter famous as the host of Springwatch and, before that, The Really Wild Show. He lives in the New Forest and is currently in lockdown there with his stepdaughter Megan McCubbin, 25, who has co-hosted Springwatch with him. Chris’s partner, Charlotte Corney, is a trustee of the Isle of Wight Zoo.

I’m a big punk rock fan, and in 1979 the band Penetration released a song called Shout Above The Noise. They pumped out the rallying cry that if there’s a problem, you can sort it out, but it’s going to be a struggle and you’ll need courage. It resonated with me.

We’re a nation of people who like to sit and moan about things in pubs, but my duty on this planet is to leave it in a better state than when I inherited it. I’m losing very, very badly, so I find myself needing to shout louder and more frequently about climate change and conservation. As a consequence, I come up against opposition.

Chris Packham CBE, 59, (pictured) who is best known for hosting Springwatch, reveals he resonates with 1979 punk rock hit Shout Above The Noise

For example, when I suggested that pandas should be allowed to die out, I was making the point that it was costing an enormous amount of money to keep the panda alive in comparison to other animals that were disappearing. I was asking if the finite amount of conservation money couldn’t be better spent elsewhere, but I got a lot of abuse.

It’s the same when I talk about the global climate emergency and the need for population control — I get an enormous amount of internet trolling.

To date, I’ve never blocked the trolls on Twitter. I like criticism — it gets me to rethink myself. I contact the police about the more serious threats. My loved ones don’t worry. I’m lucky my partner is very supportive of my work.

I’m not here to make friends. I’m here to make a difference. I never wanted to be on TV to be famous. I’ve always been principally motivated by a desire to look after the natural world and I use the small voice I have to effect change. I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night if I didn’t. As long as you’re shouting the truth as you perceive it, you’ve got to keep going.

Springwatch is on Tuesdays to Fridays at 8pm on BBC2 (until June 12). 

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