PRESENTER and environmentalist Chris Packham will travel from Southampton to Winchester in a new programme aiming to tackle mental health issues in young people.

The 60-year-old presenter will appear in the BBC Two production The Walk That Made Me this evening (July 28), in which he travels the Hampshire countryside of his youth and follows the River Itchen and Itchen Navigation with a hand-held 360-degree camera.

On his journey from outside Southampton to Winchester Cathedral he discusses travelling the same area with his father and how the natural world helped him overcome isolation and depression as a young man.

Packham, who was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome in his 20s said: “I was very lucky to get through that period of my life."

He continued: “I read in the newspaper about teenage suicide rates.

“I read about people who were taking their lives after exposure to things on social media.

“I came so close to doing that and yet in the aftermath my life has been incredibly fulfilled.

“So anything that I can do to get other people to reach out to these young people when they are isolated, either through mental health issues, or a combination of autism and mental health issues.

"I want to have conversations about that sort of thing to get people thinking so that they better understand it, and can offer help to those people that are bound to be in the same position that I was it."

The naturalist, who has presented the BBC Springwatch, Autumnwatch and Winterwatch programmes said he had not intended to speak so openly during the walk about his memories of living with undiagnosed Asperger’s Syndrome and experiencing suicidal thoughts.

“ I didn’t pre-plan it, it just flowed out,” he said.

Chris Packham: The Walk That Made Me is on BBC Two at 8pm on July 28 and on iPlayer.

Anyone in need of confidential emotional support can call Samaritans free on 116 123 or by emailing or visiting