Shooting organisation BASC has hit back at BBC TV presenter Chris Packham’s attack on shooters and gamekeepers.
BASC spokesman Garry Doolan says it is ‘ludicrous’ to suggest BASC encourages online abuse. He says: “We call out Chris Packham for his comments in The Times newspaper, where he admits that he is inciting and inflaming people to get more column inches. We find that is a bizarre admission – certainly divisive.”
In that article, Packham alleges that BBC TV presenter Megan McCubbin, who is also the daughter of Packham’s partner, ‘faced weeks of “vile and hateful” messages’ after BASC pointed out her connection to Packham, 60. He alleges that the BASC tacitly extended an invitation to online trolls: “Here’s a young woman, a friend of Chris’s who has started working with him — why don’t you have a go?”
The Times reports as fact Packham’s speculation that a stolen car which thieves set alight outside Packham’s house in the New Forest was an attack by shooters. Hampshire Police has not confirmed that its officers are investigating the incident on Friday 9 October 2021 as an attack on the BBC TV presenter.
Harassment , relentless abuse , intimidation and now arson . And what next . . . ? I will not be cowed , I will not buckle , but can I ask for your help ? If you are an @nationaltrust member please sign to end hunting here and now .t.co/UtegRNGfUH pic.twitter.com/lwaZLaO2oG— Chris Packham (@ChrisGPackham) October 9, 2021
Most newspapers and broadcasters who report Packham’s version of the burning car story ignore that stolen cars are frequently set alight in the New Forest. Hampshire Police is investigating at least one other similar incident on the same night.
The damage to Packham’s gates and his successful campaign to pin the burning car on the shooting community diverts attention from Packham’s failed march on Buckingham Palace on 9 October, where only a handful of people joined him to call for the royal family to end grouseshooting on the Crown Estate.
Meanwhile, the continued abuse of shooters and gamekeepers by Packham’s supporters have turned to violence in the last few weeks. A deerstalker in East Anglia found his highseat’s ratchet straps had been cut, legals traps on estates have been vandalised and a hunt sab in Cheshire has been videoed carrying a lump of concrete as h approaches hunting supporters.
Packham is using his media campaign to encourage National Trust members to vote to ban trailhunting – the countryside pursuit of following a trail laid by a human – on its land.