BBC Trust ruling: Chris Packham did not breach guidelines

A year ago, Tim Bonner, Chief Exec of the Countryside Alliance complained to the BBC (see here) about Chris Packham describing various ‘countryside’ organisations as “the nasty brigade” and accused him of other alleged breaches of the BBC’s editorial code.

Earlier this summer, just as the campaign to ban driven grouse shooting was gaining serious momentum, poor Timmy was furious to learn that the BBC Trust would not publish its decision until September. The Countryside Alliance clearly hoped that Chris’s participation in the highly successful ban driven grouse shooting campaign could be curtailed (see here) so they stamped their feet and pressed the BBC Trust to publish its decision without delay.

The BBC Trust gave the Countryside Alliance a metaphorical middle finger and stood firm. Today, the Trust has published its decision: Chris Packham did not breach any BBC guidelines – read the Trust’s full findings here: bbc-trust-ruling-on-chris-packham

v happy Copy

Meanwhile, as the appropriately named nasty brigade have been baying (braying?) for his blood, Chris has remained focused on more important issues. He’s just launched a new e-petition calling for a moratorium on shooting woodcock, snipe and golden plover until the cause of their population declines have been determined by independent scientific assessment – you can sign his petition here.

Oh, and one last thing. A few months ago, Chris was asked to choose a name for one of this year’s satellite tagged hen harriers as part of the Lush Skydancer Bathbomb campaign. Anyone recall the name he chose? Watch the video here and listen carefully! [Cue outraged complaint to the BBC….]

Don’t worry Countryside Alliance, next year, assuming there are some hen harrier chicks around to satellite tag, one can be called Olive and another Ridley, in honour of those marine turtles you know so much about.

19 Responses to “BBC Trust ruling: Chris Packham did not breach guidelines”

  1. 2 heclasu
    September 24, 2016 at 1:29 am

    I am very pleased to hear this. I recall that during an episode of Springwatch this year – or was it last – I can’t remember, the subject of hen harriers came up. Chris didn’t even bat an eyelid – although the temptation to reach out to the large Springwatch audience must have been huge. He just dealt with it. No mention at all of the problems the birds face on Driven Grouse Moors. A true professional and a great ally to have in the fight to consign this barbaric bloodletting to history.

    I have signed his latest petition regarding snipe shooting. This is big business in the Western Isles and I have mentioned on this blog before that not all birds find their way to the table. I have seen wheelie bins full of shot snipe on South Uist (topped up, incidentally, with Redwings on one occasion [because they were keeping the shooters awake at night I was told]). Disgusting! Before anyone says anything, the RSPB were informed at the time and there was little point in reporting the matter to the Police for the obvious reason.

    • 3 Jocky
      September 28, 2016 at 1:49 pm


      Report to the sspca investigations unit, they will have no problem with investigating.

    • 4 Les Wallace
      October 1, 2016 at 8:03 pm

      Must be similar situation to what happens on pheasant shoots – so many get shot that don’t get eaten most end up in landfill. Really disgusted by what happened to the red wings. On his blog Mark Avery mentioned an estate owner who in the early 20th century blasted ring ouzels because he thought their alarm calls scared off the grouse.

    • 5 Nimby
      October 1, 2016 at 8:41 pm

      In terms of pheasant shooting I have repeatedly questioned the issue of public liability insurance for the introduced species shot for fun / sport. They are livestock when being reared, but wild after release and revert back to livestock if they are caught up at the end of the season. Low flying / injured pheasants cause accidents, so why are shooting estates not required to insure the birds? Easy enough to establish ownership if they are ringed. Vicarious Liability is also needed in England, accountability for actions long overdue?

  2. 6 Chris Lock
    September 24, 2016 at 6:06 am

    Packham is a good man and true

  3. 7 Mo Richards
    September 24, 2016 at 7:42 am

    Well done the BBC Trust for not giving in to pressure. Chris Packham is a decent person, some of the comments made about him are evil. Petition signed.

  4. 8 mairi
    September 24, 2016 at 8:15 am

    At last common sense and truth prevail.

  5. 9 Damion Willcock
    September 24, 2016 at 11:51 am

    Chris Packham is a great inspiration. The world needs more people like him.

  6. 10 Alan Johnson
    September 24, 2016 at 4:24 pm

    No one can say the BBC Trust has not considered this thoroughly………I mean, 14 PAGES! I know I’m not the only observer who marvels at Packham’s level of self-control on the Watch programmes, given his deep involvement in many wildlife persecution issues. It’s got to be healthy for the publishers of BBC Wildlife to seek to engage with people of his persuasion and ask them to provide straight Opinion, particularly when you balance this with the sickeningly niaive coverage of Countryfile and many pieces on BBC Reporting Scotland.

  7. September 24, 2016 at 4:49 pm

    Well done Chris, just the signed petition. Thank goodness there are people like him, who stand up for what they believe in, and will go to any lengths to protect Wildlife from persecution.

  8. 12 Nimby
    September 24, 2016 at 7:36 pm

    Just love the irony and the image!

    BBC Trust saw sense, now all we have to do is persuade the Government?

    But of the 650 (+850) how many are independent of thought (this should be a non-party political issue) and sufficiently strong willed to be truly principled?

  9. September 24, 2016 at 9:16 pm

    Signed. Good man Chris Packham. Read his book ‘Fingers in the Sparkle jar’ – it’s brilliant.

  10. September 25, 2016 at 9:37 am

    I think Chris should simply have an extra couple of hours in bed, emit a loud yawn…then get on with it……. with the knowledge he is on the side of right, and right will out.

  11. September 27, 2016 at 5:29 pm

    Dim Bonner is a moron of the highest order. He’s constantly moaning about anything and everything and has zero credibility except among his own nasty brigade who like to claim they’re so hard done by. The Linnethawk incident was an amusing prime example.

  12. 16 Roderick Leslie
    September 28, 2016 at 11:43 am

    Stepping back for a moment, isn’t it extraordinary and frightening that this all came about over comments Chris made about the systematic and blatant breaking of the law of the land. The shooting lobby has reacted in exactly the same way they would have reacted to someone standing up and saying it was fine to steal their quad bikes – yet it is they who are stealing our raptors.

  13. 17 psybertron
    September 29, 2016 at 8:12 am

    Bonny is a neat name for obvious reasons. Not sure demonising all those involved in traditional land-use helps or is fair use of his BBC platform …. but what is a “ban driven grouse shooting campaign”?

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