CHRIS Packham has described himself as a "victim of arson" after his front gate was destroyed by fire.

The Springwatch presenter, who owns a cottage in the New Forest, took to Twitter to share images of his charred front gate following the blaze on Friday morning.

He reported he has CCTV images of two "hooded and masked men" outside the front of his home.

Police have said a vehicle was ablaze outside the property at around 12.43am. They added that no arrests have been made.

He said: “On Thursday night, Friday morning at 12.30am, two hooded and masked men drove a vehicle right up to my gate and set it on fire.

“They were fully aware of the CCTV in place, they took great pains to hide themselves.

“The car exploded and was rapidly and efficiently dealt with by Hampshire Fire and Rescue, and the police were in attendance and, as ever, they did a fantastic job but not before it did extensive damage to my property.

“I wonder what happens next. Do they burn the house down, do they beat up my step-daughter, do they cut the break lines on my partner’s car, or do they come for me directly?

“I mean, are they going to kill me at some point? I think it’s a fair question.”

The environmentalist has said that he will “carry on” his activism despite being targeted. 

The 60-year-old anti-hunting advocate speculated he may have been the target of internet trolls, hunters, or members of organisations which opposed his activism.

He told his followers this “vicious, cowardly act of vandalism” was the latest in a campaign of harassment over a number of years.

A Hampshire Constabulary spokesperson said: “We were called out at 12.43am on Friday following reports of criminal damage at a property in Ipley, Marchwood.

“It was reported that a vehicle was on fire outside a property, which had subsequently spread to a surrounding gate and fence.

“Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service attended and extinguished the blaze. No arrest have been made.”

In February 2020, the corpse of a badger was left hanging from his front gate. 

Two months prior to that, a dead fox was also left outside the presenters home.