Chris Packham and a lifelong commitment to wildlife
Chris Packham has been a wildlife fanatic for as long as he can remember and his parents recall how he tried to ‘collect’ creatures that crept and crawled across their lawn before he could even walk.
With the years the obsession grew and at an early age Chris became a pioneer of ‘unloved’ animals. Bats were a particular love, as were snakes and lizards.
Having travelled the globe and having had countless close-up encounters with wild animals throughout the world, Chris still believes that there is no better place for wildlife than in your own back garden.
His book Back Garden Nature Reserve was published 20 years ago. “It’s more rewarding to spend 10 minutes with a woodlouse in the palm of your hand than 10 minutes watching a tiger on television” he says in the book, claiming that it is the tickling feet of the woodlouse that make all the difference.
Chris first trained as a cameraman, and has since become a renowned wildlife photographer. Today he is best known as a TV presenter, a career launched in 1986 with the award winning Really Wild Show on children’s television, a programme he co-hosted, another WLT supporter, Nicola Davies.
More recently he has become a household name through Springwatch and Autumnwatch, two hugely popular programmes that are firm fixtures in the BBC schedule.
WLT Chief Executive John Burton welcomes Chris’s appointment: “This is great news for World Land Trust, and not just because he is a well-known TV presenter. Chris is a very serious wildlife conservationist, and very much a professional zoologist. He takes involvement with conservation organisations extremely seriously and we look forward to his advice and working with him in the future.”
Chris Packham and conservation
Chris is the champion of the humble species as opposed to the ‘cute and cuddly’. An outspoken critic of single species conservation, he argues that conservationists should be looking at the broader picture of ecosystems and habitats.
In 2010 he was awarded the Dilys Breese British Trust for Ornithology Medal for his outstanding work in promoting science to new audiences.
Chris is a long-standing supporter of WLT, assigning the Public Lending Rights in his books to the Green Ink project since 1994.