Chris Packham: threats, intimidation, arson – they’ve tried everything

As a child Chris Packham was bullied because of his autism. Now the wildlife campaigner faces ‘hate crimes’ such as arson head on, he tells Andrew Billen

Chris Packham with one of his pet poodles
Chris Packham with one of his pet poodles
The Times

Evidence of man’s inhumanity to man is so plentiful that the phrase is a cliché. Man’s inhumanity to animals, meanwhile, is a given. Inhumanity to a man who opposes inhumanity to animals, however, affronts me a little. At 62, the campaigner and wildlife broadcaster Chris Packham is too young to be a national treasure but he is on that trajectory, mainly because his informed love of nature is infectious. Yet he also attracts terrible abuse, so much so that in the past six months he has been to court for protection.

“They burnt my gates down in an act of arson outside my house,” he tells me over Zoom from that house of his in the New Forest. That attack was in 2021. Two years