Rural workers staged a demonstration in December, protesting against Chris Packham’s ‘relentless drive’ to ‘wreck’ their livelihoods.
Around 150 workers took to the streets in Perth on 17 December, while Packham was giving a talk on nature photography at Perth Concert Hall. The crowd then called for the Springwatch presenter to end what they called a ‘relentless campaign of misinformation’
An outspoken critic of field sports, Packham has recently backed two Westminster petitions to end grouse shooting, potentially jeopardising around 2,500 jobs. In addition, he has mounted serious legal challenges to other other country sports and farming in the past 12 months.
The protestors claim that Packham has been waging war against rural workers and their families with ‘unsubstantiated allegations, designed to damage their futures.’
Allan Hodgson, a gamekeeper, commented: “Packham is well aware of his position but is using his celebrity status to distort the truth with unsubstantiated allegations, tarring whole communities.
“He doesn’t know these communities, how they work and what binds them together. He hasn’t managed land in his life and knows nothing of the challenges.
“If he is serious about making things better he shouldn’t start by trying to put people who manage the land every day out of work – he should be talking to them. He has obsessive tunnel vision and is ignoring science,” Allan concluded.
Another protestor commented: “Study upon study has shown that, where gamekeepers are managing for game, they are also giving a helping hand to many species that are virtually absent elsewhere in our countryside, including the nature reserves he seems to love.
“But there is no attempt to listen to that side or acknowledge the good that many long-serving land managers are doing in the countryside.”