Chris Packham kicks off Springwatch series with coronavirus message

Chris Packham kicks off Springwatch series with coronavirus message

Chris Packham said nature offered a "message of hope" as he introduced the new series of Springwatch, which is being filmed around its presenters' homes during lockdown.

The broadcaster, 59, kicked off the new series live from the woodland around his home in the New Forest.

He was joined by co-presenters Gillian Burke and Iolo Williams, who broadcast from Cornwall and Wales respectively.

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File photo dated 22/09/18 of TV wildlife expert Chris Packham who said he has been sent death threats after backing a legal challenge which resulted in restrictions on shooting "pest" birds.
Chris Packham makes a speech on top of a bus stop during the Extinction Rebellion demonstration on Waterloo Bridge in London.
Chris Packham makes a speech on top of a bus stop during the Extinction Rebellion demonstration on Waterloo Bridge in London.
EMBARGOED TO 2230 FRIDAY DECEMBER 28 File photo dated 24/05/18 of TV presenter and naturalist Chris Packham who has been awarded a CBE for services to Nature Conservation in the New Year Honours list.
Chris Packham takes part in the People's Walk for Wildlife, as it sets off from Hyde Park in central London.
Chris Packham (left) and Billy Bragg onstage before the start of the People's Walk for Wildlife, in Hyde Park in central London.
EDITORIAL USE ONLY Chris Packham interacts with a 7ft lifelike model of a Stag Beetle at the launch of Big Bugs on Tour at intu Lakeside, which is a year-long initiative designed to reconnect people with nature.
EDITORIAL USE ONLY Chris Packham interacts with a lifelike model of a Hornet and a Grasshopper at the launch of Big Bugs on Tour at intu Lakeside, which is a year-long initiative designed to reconnect people with nature.
TV presenter and naturalist Chris Packham (left) and Butterfly Conservation's Head of England Regions Dan Hoare after releasing chequered skipper butterflies in Rockingham Forest, Northamptonshire, which are being reintroduced to England, as part of the Back from the Brink project, after the species disappeared in 1976.
Wildlife TV presenter Chris Packham and organizer of the protest addresses the crowd during the first day of the grouse season known as the "Glorious 12th". Hundreds of Anti Blood Sports protesters gather outside Downing Street in London, UK on August 12, 2017 to demonstrate against the killing of animals for sport. (Photo by Claire Doherty) *** Please Use Credit from Credit Field ***
Chris Packham attending the Royal Television Society Programme Awards at Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London.
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Introducing the programme, Packham said: "This is a year like no year we have ever encountered.

"Everyone is having to adapt to unprecedented times. People are grieving, struggling and battling with the most tragic situations that they will ever encounter in their lives.

"This series is not to take away from any of these realities.

"But there is one thing that has happened this year that has perhaps offered solace to everyone – a real message of hope, the power, the therapy, the existence of the natural world."

Packham added: "There's not a morning I don't wake up and think: 'This isn't happening'."

He continued: "There's never been a more important time for us to take the time to appreciate the wildlife outside our window."

The programme featured a montage of viewers' videos showing animal sightings in towns and cities left deserted by lockdown.

Among those were sightings of an otter on a front lawn, harbour porpoises upriver in Somerset and goats who had strayed into a Welsh town.

The presenters shone a light on a range of animals, including treecreepers, beavers, great spotted woodpeckers and foxes.

Packham's daughter, zoologist Megan McCubbin, is among the guest presenters on the new series of the BBC Two show.

The BBC recently announced that Michaela Strachan would be unable to present, as she was in lockdown in South Africa.

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