Chris Packham car blast attack as Land Rover blown up by thugs outside TV star's home
Telly star Chris Packham revealed today that hate campaigners blew up a Land Rover outside his front gate.
Balaclava-clad thugs drove the vehicle to the BBC Springwatch presenter’s remote country home and set fire to it before fleeing in a getaway car just after midnight on Friday.
Chris, 60, who was alone in the house, said the 4X4 turned into an inferno and exploded shortly after.
In an exclusive interview, the anti-hunt campaigner said: “I’d gone to bed and absolutely crashed out, literally crashed out, zonked.
“The gate isn’t visible from the bedroom but of course when it exploded, it went off with a massive bang which woke me and the dogs up.
“It was an inferno. The neighbours called the fire brigade and they turned up and put it out. The police turned up a bit later."
The explosion set fire to the gate and fence of his property in Hampshire’s New Forest.
Brave Chris – who only hours after the attack led a march to Buckingham Palace to call on the Royal Family to re-wild their estates – has been targeted before.
In 2019 he received death threats after launching a legal challenge to stop people shooting so-called pest birds like crows and pigeons.
He was also sent packages of human excrement, had barbed wire left on his drive to puncture his tyres and found dead crows tied to his front gate.
Chris’s long-term partner, conservationist Charlotte Corney, 44, and step-daughter, Megan McCubbin, 25, often stay at the house.
Two years ago the Wild Justice Group, which Chris belongs to, helped force through a change in the law around shooting 16 species of birds.
The move infuriated hunters and farmers, who said they could no longer cull crows attacking newborn lambs or stop pigeons stripping crops unless they applied for individual licences.
The Government later introduced three other licences almost identical to the banned one – but they don’t apply in certain protection zones.
Chris says he has stopped telling his partner and step daughter about some of the more recent hate incidents.
He said: “I didn’t tell anyone because it was just same-old, same-old.
“And then recently someone threw a dead badger by the gate, but again that’s same-old, same-old.
“I didn’t even bother to tell Charlotte and Megs. The security and police were saying, ‘What’s next?’
“If they had a truck they could ram it through any gates then drive up to the house and set fire to it alongside the house.
“It’s all about intimidation, they’re trying to intimidate me and it’s threatening.
“We’re worried about the dogs too, we love them and don’t want them to come to any harm.
“If these people are prepared to burn something down then are they prepared to hurt my friends and family? That’s the next question.
“I get up every morning and my underlying mission is to try and make the world a better place for wildlife and people. That’s it. I think it’s relatively straight-forward.
“I do campaign against fox hunting because I don’t think it’s great for wildlife and it distresses 86 per cent of the UK population.
“I do campaign against unsustainable and illegal shooting.
“I do complain about these things and I draw attention to them but I don’t burn anything down.
“I don’t damage people’s property or their livelihoods and I don’t threaten them. All I do is ask them to change their mind.”
Hampshire Police appealed for help in catching the arsonists.
A spokesman said: “It was reported that a vehicle was on fire outside a property, which had subsequently spread to a surrounding gate and fence. Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service attended and extinguished the blaze.
“No arrests have been made.
“Were you in the area at the time? Did you see what happened?
“Or perhaps you have dash-cam footage or doorbell footage leading up to the incident.”
Yesterday Chris, along with several hundred children and a jazz band, marched through central London to Buckingham Palace to deliver a petition signed by 100,000 people calling on the royals to re-wild their land.
Former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, actors Sir Mark Rylance and Josh O’Connor and original Springwatch host Kate Humble all signed the petition ahead of the COP26 climate change conference in Scotland.
They want the Queen and other royals to re-wild their vast estates by reintroducing animals like beavers and wild boar, reducing deer numbers to allow tree regeneration, halting grouse shooting and going organic.
Chris said: “We are very politely asking them to change their practices and if they could announce that before COP26 it would send out a brilliant message across the world.
“This is not the time for talking about doing things any more, this is the time to actually do them.
“So whilst they are saying the right things, what better place to do the right thing than in your very own, very large, back yard.”
The Royal Estates said it has a long history of conservation and biodiversity and is constantly looking for ways to make further improvements.
The Queen, Prince Charles and Camilla, and Prince William and Kate will attend the United Nations climate change conference in Glasgow in November.
If anyone has any information, call 101 quoting 44210403698