Chris Packham to take on armed bird hunters

Wildlife expert Chris Packham.

Wildlife expert Chris Packham.

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Political reporter

HE is no stranger to putting himself in the line of danger.

But now Hampshire wildlife expert Chris Packham is set to take on thousands of armed hunters.

He is heading to the Mediterranean to highlight the plight of thousands of birds who are shot by hunters every year.

The Southampton-based Springwatch presenter will broadcast live from the island of Malta over the course of next week.

As many as 10,500 hunters armed with shotguns gather on Malta every year for a three-week shooting season as migrant birds return to the UK from North Africa.

Among the birds that travel back to the UK and northern Europe via Malta are barn swallows, cuckoos, marsh and pallid harriers, kestrels, ospreys and grey herons.

Chris and a team of fellow environmentalists will put together a video diary on the hunting and their confrontations with the hunters.

They will then be broadcast on YouTube every night at 9pm next week from Monday to Friday.

Ahead of jetting out to the island, Chris said: “Our mission is to generate a wider awareness of this heinous practice with frank and factual reports from the frontline, where our much-loved migrant birds are being shot in huge numbers.

“It will not be pretty, the species killed include many UK favourites and rarities and the hunters are infamous for being confrontational and violent.

“I don’t care, this is not a holiday, it’s an attempt to bring this forgotten issue to a wider public attention and then to offer a couple of ways the viewers can actually do something to effect positive change.

“I think people will be t r u l y horrif i e d w h e n they see what happens on Malta to ‘our birds’.

Related links

“I believe they care and they will do something to change it.”

It is not the first time Chris has found himself in a difficult situation.

As previously reported by the Daily Echo, Chris was charged at by lions whilst on location in Namibia.

He managed to take it all in his stride, and even managed to take some incredible closeup photos of the pride.

Comments (4)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

11:43am Thu 17 Apr 14

ToastyTea says...

Good on him, didn't know this event happened, what sort of people find that fun. A link to the youtube channel it will be broadcast on may have been helpful.
Good on him, didn't know this event happened, what sort of people find that fun. A link to the youtube channel it will be broadcast on may have been helpful. ToastyTea
  • Score: 6

1:19pm Thu 17 Apr 14

Poppy22 says...

Just found out about this recently (heard that Bill Oddie has gone over with the League Against Cruel Sports). Good that Chris is going too. No wonder our bird population is declining! People like to blame cats but, from what I've seen observing many cats over many years - who catch far more rats and mice than they do birds, it's primarily humans who are the worst culprits (not only by things like this Malta annual event but mostly by all the toxic crop spraying and continually-reducing amount of wild land in this country due to building etc). Our local Councils, for example, are far more worried about protecting low-value land between their boundary with other local Councils than they are in protecting the little remaining real countryside we have for our birds (and ourselves!). Eastleigh Borough Council being the worst culprit, especially as it continually misleads people saying it's protecting the countryside!
Just found out about this recently (heard that Bill Oddie has gone over with the League Against Cruel Sports). Good that Chris is going too. No wonder our bird population is declining! People like to blame cats but, from what I've seen observing many cats over many years - who catch far more rats and mice than they do birds, it's primarily humans who are the worst culprits (not only by things like this Malta annual event but mostly by all the toxic crop spraying and continually-reducing amount of wild land in this country due to building etc). Our local Councils, for example, are far more worried about protecting low-value land between their boundary with other local Councils than they are in protecting the little remaining real countryside we have for our birds (and ourselves!). Eastleigh Borough Council being the worst culprit, especially as it continually misleads people saying it's protecting the countryside! Poppy22
  • Score: 3

5:06pm Thu 17 Apr 14

Malcombe says...

Most of us do care about Wild Life, I was living in Marchwood from last June until February this year and the wild Birds were regularly in my Garden they are wonderful to watch, I fed them daily with the Fat Balls and a tip for all wild Bird lovers don't go buying all the Bird seeds etc buy cheap Digestive Biscuits from Tesco or Sainsburys crush them up you will find every single species love them.

I had Blue Tits, Robins, Blackbirds, Starlings, Collar Doves, Wrens, Black Caps, Great Tits, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Pigeons (They can annoy as they eat a lot) Nuthatch, Jackdaws Chaffinch, Dunnocks, Sparrows and Spotted Woodpeckers and the cheeky Squirrel apart from the Woodpecker the others I've listed were visiting every day.

Lets hope Chris can get the message into this ignorants of foreigners but once he steps out of Britain he's stepping into many different cultures who know no difference it won't be easy
Most of us do care about Wild Life, I was living in Marchwood from last June until February this year and the wild Birds were regularly in my Garden they are wonderful to watch, I fed them daily with the Fat Balls and a tip for all wild Bird lovers don't go buying all the Bird seeds etc buy cheap Digestive Biscuits from Tesco or Sainsburys crush them up you will find every single species love them. I had Blue Tits, Robins, Blackbirds, Starlings, Collar Doves, Wrens, Black Caps, Great Tits, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Pigeons (They can annoy as they eat a lot) Nuthatch, Jackdaws Chaffinch, Dunnocks, Sparrows and Spotted Woodpeckers and the cheeky Squirrel apart from the Woodpecker the others I've listed were visiting every day. Lets hope Chris can get the message into this ignorants of foreigners but once he steps out of Britain he's stepping into many different cultures who know no difference it won't be easy Malcombe
  • Score: -1

12:54pm Fri 18 Apr 14

Beer Monster says...

Good on Chris, I had no idea that this event took place, and I've been to Malta - admittedly, they did seem to welcome Labour Day (1st May) with mass parades of noise at silly o'clock in the morning (which kind of defeats the point of a public holiday IMO), but otherwise I found the place to be quite tolerant to wildlife. How wrong I was.

Spread the word peeps;
http://www.chrispack
ham.co.uk/
Good on Chris, I had no idea that this event took place, and I've been to Malta - admittedly, they did seem to welcome Labour Day (1st May) with mass parades of noise at silly o'clock in the morning (which kind of defeats the point of a public holiday IMO), but otherwise I found the place to be quite tolerant to wildlife. How wrong I was. Spread the word peeps; http://www.chrispack ham.co.uk/ Beer Monster
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree