Perth Packham Protests

BY NICK PEARCE

On Tuesday dozens of countryside workers staged a demonstration against TV presenter Chris Packham, claiming his campaign work is threatening their jobs.

Gamekeepers and their families joined other rural workers outside Perth Concert Hall, where Packham was scheduled to give a talk. They held placards saying “Pack it in, Packham” and “Stop Threatening Our Jobs”.

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The BBC Springwatch presenter has faced criticism from many in the countryside for backing legal action challenging licences for shooting wild birds and his campaigning against the game shooting industry.Protesters in Perth, where Packham was due to give a talk on nature photography, said the conservationist was seeking to ban activities which brought benefits to whole communities.

Gamekeeper Allan Hodgson said in a statement on behalf of Scotland’s Regional Moorland Groups: “He doesn’t know these communities, how they work and what binds them together. He hasn’t managed land in his life and knows nothing of the challenges. What he is seeking is to ban activities which bring benefits and jobs to people, helps threatened wildlife and fragile areas. Folk have had enough. If he is serious about making things better he shouldn’t start by trying to put people who manage the land every day, out of work – he should be talking to them.”