THE BBC are facing calls to sack Southampton-born Springwatch presenter Chris Packham after criticism of conservation groups.

Mr Packham had been critical of the stances of groups towards fox hunting and the badger cull in his monthly column in the BBC Wildlife magazine.

And Tim Bonner, the chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, has called for him to be sacked "unless the situation changes".

Mr Packham had written that organisations such as the RSPB and the National trust were “hamstrung by outdated liaisons with the ‘nasty brigade’ and can’t risk upsetting old friends” in the rural and shooting communities.

The organisations had rejected his claims, but Mr Bonner has now claimed that Mr Packham is "using the position granted by a public service broadcaster to promote an extreme agenda".

Mr Bonner wrote on the Countryside Alliance's website: "This is the clearest possible abuse of the position the BBC has given Chris Packham and as it is an ongoing behaviour, rather than an isolated incident, it is difficult to see how the situation can change.

"If it does not then the BBC’s only answer can be to remove the BBC from Chris Packham’s biography by refusing to employ him any more.