15
Oct
16

Outstanding Achievement award for Chris Packham

Yesterday Chris Packham was awarded a Wildscreen Panda Award for Outstanding Achievement at the 2016 Wildscreen Festival.

The Panda Awards, dubbed the ‘Green Oscars’, celebrate and honour the very best in wildlife filmmaking and tv presenting. David Attenborough presented the award which Chris received to a standing ovation. His award was given in recognition of his significant contribution to wildlife filmmaking, conservation and increasing the public’s understanding of the environment.

Had we been there, we would have stood and cheered and applauded as loudly as everyone else, not just for his professional achievements, which are many, but more for the personal commitment he has given to wildlife conservation campaigns, and especially his work on raising awareness about raptor persecution.

Many of us first met Chris in 2014 when he joined the #sodden570, standing all day in torrential rain in the Derbyshire Peak District at the very first Hen Harrier Day. He wasn’t paid to be there, he didn’t have to be there, but he was there, because he cared as passionately as the rest of us about hen harrier persecution. And he didn’t just flit in to say a few words and then clear off to the comfort of a warm, dry hotel room, as some ‘celebrities’ might have done. No. He stayed for the entire event and spent hours and hours and hours, soaked to the skin, talking to people, having his photograph taken, signing souvenirs, and ensuring that everyone who wanted to meet him was given that opportunity. He was one of the last to leave that day.

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Since then he has been at the forefront of this campaign, on social media, at public events, and at further Hen Harrier Day rallies in 2015 and 2016. Perhaps most significantly, he also put his name to the latest petition to ban driven grouse shooting in March this year. But he didn’t just put his name to it and then forget about it, he campaigned for it, working tirelessly to promote the issue and raise awareness.

When, with Mark Avery, we told him we wanted to make some videos to help the public understand the environmental damage caused by driven grouse shooting, he jumped at the chance to help. Unbeknownst to many, he turned up the evening before we were due to start filming with a chronic back injury that rendered him virtually unable to walk. Did he cry off? Did he hell. He got himself an emergency medical appointment early the next morning, got dosed up on pain killers and joined us for two days of filming out on the moors without complaint or excuse. Again, he wasn’t paid to make those films, he didn’t have to be there, in agony, but he (and his film crew, who also volunteered their time and expertise) was there because he cared.

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There is no doubt that Chris’s involvement in this campaign helped the petition to reach the required 100,000 signatures and why the issue of driven grouse shooting is heading for Westminster this month. He has an outspoken passion but it is delivered with integrity and professionalism, and the general public responds to these qualities. And that’s why the grouse shooting industry targeted him with their (unsuccessful) campaigns to get him sacked from the BBC. They could see how much the public valued his opinion and they could see how his advocacy was helping the campaign gain momentum. For all the personal abuse they’ve hurled at Chris, whether it be on social media or in the national press, his dignity and resoluteness has been astonishing.

Massive congratulations, Chris, for a well-deserved award.

Photos of Hen Harrier Day 2014 and film work on a North Yorkshire grouse moor, July 2016 (RPUK)

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38 Responses to “Outstanding Achievement award for Chris Packham”


  1. October 15, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    Absolutely fantastic news and hugely deserved. Next time he suffers from petty, yet deeply unpleasant, name calling from the grouse shooting lobby and, risibly, it’s claimed that he knows little about wildlife a gentle reminder of this achievement, one amongst many, would be in order. I wonder if the organisers of this award will now come in for some nasty abuse and/or pressure – it’d be par for the course.

  2. 3 nirofo
    October 15, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    Excellent, well done Chris and well deserved.

  3. October 15, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    So truly well deserved. wishing our wonderful Chris all the support he needs always. He is a national HERO. He is the man who has , with his co presenters, included our children in his show. it is vital that the younger people value our wildlife to continue their protection.

  4. October 15, 2016 at 3:45 pm

    no one who loves our wildlife deserves this more than Chris Packham. we’ll support him and I thank him for making children feel included in the spring and autumn shows. we need younger people to value and protect wildlife.

  5. 7 Chris Roberts
    October 15, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    Well done Chris Packham for being presented with this well deserved award. You, as one man, do more for wildlife and the environment than all the gamekeepers put together.

    • 8 Nimby
      October 15, 2016 at 11:16 pm

      Gamekeepers …. and the self promoting ‘charities’ who belatedly (or should it be erroneously) put C and or T into their names.

      Massive congratulations to Chris, very well deserved.

      Lest we forget his Malta & Cyprus expose also.

  6. 9 Damion Willcock
    October 15, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    Great man, great achievement.

  7. 10 against feudalism
    October 15, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    Really please for him, he has been outstanding in supporting the Ban driven grouse shooting campaign, and greatly helped people to understand just how destructive it is to our wildlife, and environment, Thank You Sir.

  8. 11 Nigel Raby
    October 15, 2016 at 4:59 pm

    Well done to Chris

  9. 12 Brian
    October 15, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    You certainly deserve this Chris,the Abuse you have Endured ,and for sticking up for Our Wikdlife just speaks volumes ,and yet still retaining humility,just a few more like you and we would be in a far better place.you have my highest regards.

  10. 13 Stewart J
    October 15, 2016 at 5:54 pm

    Top guy, well done Chris duly deserved

  11. 15 Walt Comber
    October 15, 2016 at 6:08 pm

    Pat on the back for you Chris.

  12. 16 patricia gascoigne
    October 15, 2016 at 6:25 pm

    well done chris!!!!

  13. October 15, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    Deserved recognition to a person passionate about British wildlife and raising awareness of the need to protect our much treasured but endangered raptors without any doubt due to the unlawfull murderous activities of many game keepers who have all but destroyed the English population of hen harriers and decimated our goshawks.well done Chris we need more voices like yours thanks.

  14. 19 Jimmy
    October 15, 2016 at 6:53 pm

    Well done Chris – the fact that the raptor killers want him dead says it all

  15. 20 Mr Greer Hart, senior
    October 15, 2016 at 7:18 pm

    Great news for the many whom have been inspired by his programmes and activities to protect our wildlife. His sort of courage and determination represents the positive and ethical side of living in this threatened world. The univeral appeal of David Attenborough through his broad spread of interest in all forms of Life, has captured the imagination of the whole spectrum of public viewing on TV, with Chris Pakham and certain others, hopefully providing apt successors. The UK has produced world renowned commentators on the threat to wildlife and plantlife on Earth, and created wonderfully effective organisations patronised by such individuals, that have in turn attracted a huge membership of wildlife trusts and other conservation bodies, that have raised millions of pounds to acquire land to protect endangered species. Abroad, they have been instrumental in much work being done to fight poaching and trophy shooting. At least, they have never given support to the blood sports brigade, by supporting its claim to be the most important manager of the countryside. One eminent well-known biologist once did support the hunting and shooting interest, by declaring support for their supposed quality management, and that person lost credibility. Today, the demarcation line has been clearly drawn between humane conservation and the destructive hunting and shooting interest. Chris Pakham has helped make it so.

  16. 21 Paul V Irving
    October 15, 2016 at 8:59 pm

    I played a small part in those two days filming and found it quite an amazing and humbling experience to see Chris obviously nowhere near his best because of back pain turn from that pained person into the professional Chris we all know and love when the camera rolled. It was a great example of his true commitment to wildlife and raptors in particular. Thanks Chris for all your efforts in the campaign against raptor persecution and congratulations on winning this much deserved award.

  17. 22 Jack Snipe
    October 15, 2016 at 9:25 pm

    It’s humbling to be part of the same movement as this great man. At last, we have a prominent and well respected celebrity who’s prepared to “tell it like it is,” so much so that the anti-democratic and wholly selfish shooting lobby crawls out of its grouse butts and attacks him personally. At least this reassures us that they regard him as a serious threat to the continuation of their bloodthirsty “leisure” activities. We must ensure that he is able to continue to speak his mind, and reflect the concerns of millions in this country who demand better respect for our environment and its wildlife. Similarly Mark Avery, RPUK and everyone else who does the best they can to expose the cruelty and criminality involved in these disgusting so-called ‘field sports.’

  18. October 15, 2016 at 11:04 pm

    Congratulations Chris Packham. I can think of no better person that ought to be knighted in the New Year’s Honours, though I cannot imagine our pro-grouse shooting queen saying “Arise Sir Chris”.

    • October 16, 2016 at 3:27 pm

      We need to get away from the “honours culture” – when these honours are conferred by the very people who head up the killing fields of the aristocracy and wannabe landowning aristocracy…There should be a much more respected “peoples honours” of some kind set up…?

  19. 25 AlanTwo
    October 16, 2016 at 10:17 am

    Some years ago, Chris wrote a short piece about wildlife gardening in which he said something along the lines of: ‘There are no pests or vermin in my garden – only survivors, and I cut them all a little slack.’
    It’s so easy to get hung up on the inconvenience that wildlife can sometimes cause – to food production, to tidy gardening, even to building up the numbers of some species for conservation purposes. As a consequence, killing inconvenient animals is high on the agendas of many organisations, not just shooters and farmers, and this weakens their stance on cruelty and persecution.
    Chris has always risen above this, which sets him apart from many in the field. As JS says, respect for our environment and the wildlife in it, including the unfashionable elements, is crucial if we are to make progress. Chris is one of the few public figures who has championed this consistently and I greatly admire him for it.

    • October 16, 2016 at 12:26 pm

      That’s right AlanTwo, very much a point that is totally overlooked, even by “wildlife lovers”. How many people would give “a little slack” to a wasps nest in their garden or under the eaves of a roof? Get yourself down to the local hardware store and purchase a pack of wasp killing powder, or ring the local pest controller – wasps destroyed for £40. But are not wasps as important in the environment as any other species of nature?

  20. 27 Tony Warburton MBE
    October 16, 2016 at 7:06 pm

    Congratulations Chris, we at the World Owl Trust salute you and your achievement in bringing the unacceptable behaviour of the worst members of the shooting lobby and all too many moorland owners to the eyes of the general public. I also agree with ‘Nimby’ re. your ultra-brave stance in person in Malta, Absolutely mind boggling. But sorry Nimby the WOT wears its title ‘Trust’ with pride and we work in many parts of the world (currently in the Philippines and Nepal) as well as in the UK on owl conservation, So CONSERVATION is not a dirty word.and by knocking it you are in danger of using the tactics of ‘the enemy’! By creating and protecting/restoring owl habitats we also help countless other wildlife species in trouble – in other words this is one ‘Trust’ which is only too happy to call itself a ‘Conservation’ organisation. End of rant! Dave D. (who I greatly respect) , I wear an MBE with pride, for it was given to me for ‘services to owl conservation’ – so it does happen already!!!

    • October 17, 2016 at 10:23 am

      I took him to mean the GWCT but was puzzled he didn’t mention the latterly added letter ‘W’.

      • 29 AlanTwo
        October 17, 2016 at 1:56 pm

        Having read lots of posts by Nimby, my guess is he was thinking more of the GWCT, BASC and possibly the HOT.
        However, it might be that the recent actions of the HOT are undermining the reputations of other similar charities…

  21. 30 Merlin
    October 16, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    Well done Chris, A nice Billy Casper style salute to the grouse farming industry is surely in order. I picked up a copy of shooting times last week in store (without buying) and read two full pages plus the new editors notes full of criticism of the BBC for not sacking Chris, unbelievable hypocrisy. Chris has raised awareness of Raptor persecution by Gamekeepers, BASC, the Moorland Ass and the Countryside Areliars have all come out and condemned Gamekeepers who have been caught in criminal acts, Mossdale Estate earlier this year for example springs to mind, if these organisations were really sincere about stopping Raptor persecution surely they would be applauding Chris for highlighting this and not pulling out all the stops and trying to get a man sacked from his job for whistle blowing, once again well done Chris

  22. October 16, 2016 at 8:42 pm

    Absolutely delighted for Chris. He is such an inspiration to me as a young naturalist and conservationist. He is showing us that not only OK to speak out and protect wildlife but also that it’s the right thing to do. I hope his critics are a step closer to realising just who they’re dealing with!!

    Dara

  23. 32 Mrs Beverley Stone
    October 17, 2016 at 3:52 am

    A genuine stalwart to wildlife issues and the environment. The award presenter says a message. Congratulations Chris we the avid watchers of the TV series spring watch etc are so pleased you earned such an award. Let’s hope that the TV programme with your Co presenters is also set to continue without axing anyone as rumours have it. We love all of you. Thank-you for just being the person you are. Your passion for the work you do is so evident. Best wishes bev stone.

  24. 33 Pauline09
    October 17, 2016 at 5:36 pm

    Excellent news. It could not have been awarded to a better human being. Well done Chris, you deserve this acknowledgement

  25. 34 Allan Withrington
    October 17, 2016 at 9:55 pm

    Well done Chris. Well deserved. More power to your elbow.

  26. October 18, 2016 at 10:23 am

    For many years i have been utterly, utterly frustrated by the Bristol based wildlife media ( as a Bristol FoE member) campaigning on climate change since 1987. 1) Their failure to “edit in” climate change to their wildlife glossies and their quiescence with an “impartiality” that does not communicate that massive C02 emission reductions are the core of the science ; NOW. There is a climate emergency NOW vis Gt Barrier Reef bleaching etc etc and the wanton extravagance of their film epics. 2) the ongoing failure to identify that the top heavy structure of CAP subsidies ie the 2000 odd landowners that receive around 80% of the subsidy is core to “restructuring and agricultural efficiency” which is integral to wildlife declines and is state funded support for the estates of the Conservative Party. I have long requested from “the wildlife charities” a CAP distribution map detailing this by county and have considered that the BBC at Bristol and the charitable wildlife alliance (which opposed a 2013 EU Commission proposal to cap and modulate from large farms) “in terror” of the power of the landed power that is the Conservative Party and their Press. Chris Packham has broken the mold here, a mold created by Attenborough’s more traditional and subservient interpretation of BBC impartiality, Chris Packham has my applause; he has done freedom of speech and the independence of the BBC a service. I can give him no higher praise.

  27. 36 Marco McGinty
    October 20, 2016 at 4:16 am

    I cannot add much that hasn’t already been written, so I’ll keep it short and just offer my congratulations to Chris. A very worthy recipient.

  28. 37 Tudor Jones
    October 22, 2016 at 11:07 am

    Excellent stuff.Mr Packham is a breath of fresh air.Congratulation sir.

  29. 38 Rosie Williams
    October 25, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    Chris deserves this and much much more!! A man after my own heart where all living creatures are concerned… This morning, eating alfresco, I rescued a miniscule spider that had fallen in my warm liquid porridge. Surely it had to be dead! But I gently lifted it out on the tip of my fingernail, transferred it to a tissue, blew on it for a while and from a squashed soggy mess it gradually pulled one tiny speckled leg after another outwards, began to clean itself up and eventually I put it back on a leaf where it had come from and it went on its way. Its resilience was astounding and we could all learn so much about survival from such a tiny little spider. Conserve, don’t Kill!…… Thanks Chris for standing up for all nature’s creatures big and small and for being the true hardy wildlife ambassador you are.


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