Chris Packham fears for life 'but will not buckle' after arson attack on home

By Max Channon

Chris Packham has vowed not to 'buckle' or be 'cowed' after masked men carried out a terrifying arson attack on his home.

He described the incident as a 'vicious, cowardly act' and pledged never to give in to intimidation. - but the latest attack on has left the naturalist and broadcaster questioning whether he will be killed for environmental campaigning.

In a video released last night, the BBC Springwatch presenter - who has received death threats in the past for his animal activism - said: "I will not be cowed, I will not buckle.

"I cannot and will not let your intimidation sway me from my course." Police are now investigating the attack - which took place at the home in Hampshire's New Forest that Packham shares with partner Charlotte Corney and step-daughter Megan McCubbin.

According to the environmentalist, two balaclava-clad men were captured on CCTV driving a Land Rover car up to the gates of the house in the early hours of Friday morning.

They then set the vehicle on fire, which then 'exploded', destroying two large wooden gates.

Describing the incident, he said: "So on Thursday night/Friday morning, 12.30am, two hoodied and masked men dove a vehicle right up to my gate and set it on fire.

"They were fully aware of the CCTV that was in place they took great pains to hide themselves. The car exploded and was rapidly and efficiently dealt with by HFR and the police were in attendance.

"As ever they did a fantastic job but not before it had caused extensive damage to my property."

Packham - who in the past has had dead animals strung up at the gates of his home - said he had been targeted by "internet trolls" who fill his timeline with "defamatory comments, libellous comments... lots of hate calculated to damage myself and my interests."

Packham said he was frustrated at the lack of action taken against his trolls, compared to England footballers when they were abused online following the Euro 2020 final.

"I wonder about the internet trolls because they get away with it," he said.

"Despite working effectively with the police, the law as it stands means I am unable to take any action against this form of harassment.

"But it is hate crime. There's no ambiguity about that. It's a little unfair that when black footballers receive unwarranted and appalling hate crime the issue can be dealt with and that's great of course and I support that fully.

"But when environmentalists like myself receive similarly hateful torrents of relentless abuse nothing can be done about it. Because ultimately it comes at a cost.

"Perhaps the cost was having my gate burnt down causing thousands of pounds worth of damage. And of course it's not the first action that we have seen here. Dead animals are a frequent occurrence.

"But now it's escalated because they've taken to damaging that property and I wonder where it's going. I mean what happens next? Do they going to burn the house down, are they going to beat up my step-daughter? Are they going to cut the brake lines on my partner's car?

"Or do they come for me directly? Are they going to kill me at some point? I think it's a fair question." Packham concluded:

"All I can say is whoever you are - you burned down the wrong gates. "Because if you think...that I'm suddenly going to become a supporter of unsustainable or illegal shooting, or the unwarranted savagery wrought upon foxes in our countryside, then you're wrong."

Packham finished by calling on his supporters to vote in favour of an upcoming National Trust motion to to ban trail hunting on their properties and urged them to write to other significant landowners to do the same.

He posted the video on the day he had travelled to Buckingham Palace resented a petition calling for the Royal Family to 're-wild' their estates.


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