Chris packham

It shouldn’t be a crime to sniff a goshawk

I notice that the naturalist Chris Packham has been reported to the police for the ‘crime’ of sniffing a goshawk. I had not known that this was an offence – if I had known, I would not do it quite so often, or at worst, made sure nobody was watching me as I approached the birds, tumescent, in my anorak. Goshawks are diurnal, so night-time does offer the opportunity for a good sniff when they are asleep in their nests. The problem is they are also quite rare, largely due to persecution from gamekeepers and, no matter how you dress it up, snorting the scent of a more widespread raptor,

Chris Packham’s suggestions to save the world

On Monday 2 August, the BBC Today programme offered its ‘Countdown to COP26’. For the rest of the month, Amol Rajan announced, Chris Packham would give us ‘a different suggestion’ about climate change EVERY DAY. I make that 26 Packham slots — Sunday being Today-free — on the main national news magazine programme. Chris’s Day One suggestion to address the ‘colossal, planet-threatening mess that we find ourselves in’ was that everyone should buy an alarm clock (second-hand if possible to save on emissions), set it to wake up 15 minutes earlier and devote that quarter of an hour to doing something helpful, rather as we did, he said, when we

Was endorsing Boris one of my worst misjudgments ever?

Now that our social lives are a Venn diagram that only mathematicians can understand I am officially becoming a recluse. I’ve been getting to this point for years, but since the latest Covid rules mean that what we can and can’t do until ‘vaccine freedom day’ can only be understood if you have a head for shaded charts, I am resigning from polite society, in so far as I was ever in it. Boris may as well have announced 375 tiers and a rule saying anyone who wants to celebrate Christmas needs to sit inside an actual bubble and roll themselves along the floor. I have no idea what the

Is Chris Packham finally facing facts on shooting?

Chris Packham is widely seen as the most extreme of well-known animal rights activists. His obsessions against hunting and shooting forfeit the impartiality required of a television nature presenter. So it is bold of the excellent new magazine, Fieldsports Journal, to give Mr Packham lots of space in its issue designed for the start of the grouse season this week. Photographed in a butt, Mr Packham not only grants an interview, but also contributes his own article, which begins with his almost lyrical description of holding a rifle (‘I lift the fore-end and feel its weight on the bulb of my left thumb…’). Not strictly relevant, since grouse are dispatched