Chris Packham was awarded £90,000, so?

I wonder what proportion of the country would recognize the name Chris Packham? He has been one of the lead presenters for the BBCs natural history unit for decades. Why is people like this important? Without people like this, all sorts of threats to our world, including things like climate change would be less well known in the public.

Photos taken at the rally after the People’s Walk for Wildlife, at Richmond Terrace, Whitehall, London on Saturday 22nd September 2018. Credit Gary Knight

These people are essential for disseminating information which might allow us to deal with these challenges without leaving a dystopian world to our children. Naturalists are important, as they give us the knowledge to deal with many problems far cheaper than any manmade solution.

One example is beavers – they will rapidly help maintain our water table at healthy levels and they will slow the water down, as it moves back to the sea. This allows a huge reduction in flash flooding in all places where the beavers build dams.

In this instance, the case was bought by Country Squire Magazine website, which accused him of lying about charity.

The editor of the website – Dominic Wightman, and a writer Nigel Bean were singled out for articles “without any proper evidential basis”. Their behaviour was made worse, by alleging he had faked death threat letters, as well as indicating in correspondence that they intended to use the trial to accuse the TV presenter of being “a rapist, a bully, and a pervert” without (according to the judge) ” a shred of evidence”.

The death threat letters were particularly stupid, as they had taken the letter and had a handwriting expert compare it to extracts of writing. Unfortunately for them, it quickly became clear that they were comparing the death threat letters to the handwriting of his accountant – and anyway it did not match. More absurd still, this was pointed out back in November, but took 6 month for the ridiculous claim to be withdrawn.

People like Chris Packham are essential, the willingness to put your head above the parapet and know people will not like what your saying is essential – many powerful forces have a vested interest in a population poorly informed. This is true from people whose industry is threatened by meaningful work on addressing climate change to many more.

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