BBC presenter Chris Packham was greeted by a protest from members of Yorkshire's moorland communities when he arrived to give a speech at the Royal Hall in Harrogate on the evening of Saturday 19 October 2019
Moorland communities made their feelings loud and clear to Chris Packham, stressing that misleading statements and actions by the likes of the TV presenter are putting their way of life under threat.
Chris Packham is renowned for speaking out against driven grouse shooting. The presenter, campaigner and author was met outside the Royal Hall in Harrogate where he was talking by over 100 fed-up members of the public who depend on moorland activities for their livelihoods. The group were protesting against what they see as unjust attacks. They held placards reading “Chris Packham – ignoring science since 04.05.1961!” (Packham’s date of birth), and a large banner declared: “Moorlands are our lives, our livelihood and our community. We stand in unity to protect them.”
Roy Burrows, estate manager at a nearby moorland commented: “Chris Packham and his followers are wilfully misrepresenting facts and distorting clear scientific evidence”
“These are large communities who live and work in these uplands, and rely on the moorland for their livelihoods. The simple fact is that stopping grouse shooting, or rewilding the moor, could destroy many local businesses, local livelihoods and the very social fabric that makes the moorlands such a wonderful place to live in and to visit.”
The protestors sang chants including: “From bus drivers to gamekeepers, together we thrive, we need to protect, moorland community lives”.
A spokesperson for The Campaign for the Protection of Moorland Communities, said: “The moorland management system which grouse shooting sustains creates a unique landscape that encourages rare and endangered wildlife, as well as being the foundation of the moorland area’s rural economy. This is reinforced by clear scientific evidence, which is too often wilfully ignored by our opponents.
“The facts are very clear: without grouse shooting these areas would lose millions of pounds in investment each year causing lives and livelihoods would be destroyed, alongside one of Britain’s most unique habitats. It is disgraceful that a rich celebrity from Hampshire thinks it is okay to dictate to the hard-working people of Yorkshire how we should live our lives. Moorland and other rural communities seem to be the only cultural minority Chris Packham and others think it is okay to abuse. Enough is enough.”
Packham makes no secret of his dislike for grouse shooting, frequently posting about it on social media. He spoke at last month’s Green Party conference about his campaign to ban driven grouse shooting.
Many argue that the BBC should not allow him to use his platform to promote his personal agenda when there is extensive scientific evidence available to show the environmental and conservational benefits brought from well managed moorlands.
About Campaign for the Protection of Moorland Communities [C4PMC]
C4PMC is campaign group dedicated to protecting moorland communities and driven grouse shooting across England’s uplands. Working with local community groups, the C4PMC provides advocacy and communications support to individuals and local businesses within moorland communities.
For more information see: www.c4pmc.com