Chris Packham opens up on how arson ordeal has hit step-daughter Megan: ‘She’s stoic’

Chris Packham details impact of arson attack on his family

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Chris Packham joined Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield on This Morning to discuss the current ordeal he and his family have been going through. He opened up to the presenters about how his family have been dealing with an arson attack and how it won’t stop his campaign against the illegal persecution of birds of prey in the UK.

Introducing Chris to the show, Phil said: “After his home was targeted in a suspected arson attack on Friday, Chris Packham has vowed that he won’t be intimidated into stopping his campaigns to protect wildlife.”

Holly continued: “So he joins us now to explain why he will continue to pursue causes close to his heart despite the extensive damage caused to his property.

“Chris, good morning, firstly I’m so sorry that you had to go through something like this it’s just mindless and horrible, what happened Friday just explain to anybody that doesn’t know?”

“Thank you, Holly, for your sympathy. It’s very much appreciated,” Chris began: “I had some sympathy from an enormous number of people which has been very, very kind.

“In the early hours of Friday morning, two masked, hooded men put a car full of fuel outside my gates and torched it, and it exploded, setting fire to the gates.

“Fire and rescue turned up pretty quickly and put it out, and I have been working very cooperatively with the police ever since they have been brilliant as ever,” he explained.

Chris continued: “It’s been an escalation if you like as you might recall, people have been tying dead animals to my gate and sending death threats to the post.”

Shocked at what the family has been dealing with, Phil asked: “Chris were you in with the family at the time?”

Chris replied: “Yes, of course, it has an impact, I have a partner and a step-daughter Megan who you know, of course, she is very pleased to be working with you.

“They are relatively stoic, they’re sticking with my determination to carry on with my campaigning, they understand that the nature of these threats.

“But as I say, this is a different type of threat they have actively and proactively damaged our property with an exploding car and what we wonder is where it goes from here?” he asked.

“Is it the house that’s going to be burnt down are we going to be physically abused are they going to damage our vehicles,” the presenter continued.

“Ultimately, when people are taking these sorts of actions, you never know when they are going to stop, and that’s why we have been working so cooperatively and brilliantly with the police.

“We have taken on board all of their advice, and we have certain practices and protocols we have to do now when it comes to receiving post and so on.

“But you know I get up every morning, and all I really want to do is make the world a better place for wildlife and people I never imagined that having a keen interest in the environment and conservation would ever lead to this,” Chris said emotionally.

Phil went on to ask: “What is it you’ve said? Look after the planet, take care of our animals that’s fairly important stuff for the ongoing wellbeing of humankind.

“So, what have you actually said that’s upset these people to that degree?” Chris explained: “Well, I do campaign against what I see as unsustainable shooting and certainly illegal shooting.

“The illegal persecution of our birds of prey, something that still concerns us conservationists in the UK, it’s rife.

“It increased during lockdown we are still seeing these very beautiful birds ruthlessly persecuted in some parts of our country.

“So, I speak out against that it’s a crime after all, there is no ambiguity about it, unsustainable shooting,” he told Holly and Phil.

This Morning airs weekdays at 10am on ITV. 

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