Chris Packham wages war against plans to build climbing wall at nature reserve

Albertina Lloyd
Entertainment reporter, Yahoo UK
Chris Packham has accused Nene Park Trust of trying to create a 'nature theme park' (Getty)

Chris Packham has stepped up his protests against plans to build an indoor climbing wall at a natural beauty spot, branding the proposed scheme a “nature theme park”.

The Springwatch presenter is officially objecting to Nene Park Trust's plans to build an activity centre on the banks of Gunwade Lake in Ferry Meadows, Peterborough, accusing it of destroying trees and endangering bats.

Packham wrote in a letter to Peterborough City Council: "I am opposing the proposed setting for this indoor Climbing Wall that will be open at night and urbanise a precious area of green open space with mature trees, oak meadow and protected quality rich habitat for wildlife, including bats.

Read more: Chris Packham slams Jeremy Clarkson

"British wildlife is in serious decline due to disappearing habitats. Meadows and mature healthy trees need protecting – we don't have the luxury to be blasé about removing any, no matter how many saplings we have planted as there are no guarantees they will survive.

"Ferry Meadows needs cherishing as a natural place for our children to learn to appreciate nature not an urban hub/nature theme park destroying all it originally set to achieve. Please reconsider the setting for this climbing wall and leave the habitat the way it is for wildlife and humans alike to enjoy."

The 58-year-old naturalist and TV presenter tweeted last year appealing to his 380,000 followers to sign a petition for the council to reject the plans for the £8m Nene Park Activity Centre.

Packham is an avid campaigner against animal cruelty.

Read more: Chris Packham brandishes dead bird of prey in video protesting grouse shooting

Every year he contacts the producers of I’m A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! calling for them to stop using live animals in the Bushtucker Trials.

Chris Packham accused 'I'm A Celebrity' of animal cruelty at the TV Choice awards last year (Getty)

Earlier this month he objected to the appearance of contestant Ollie Williams on Love Island after pictures emerged of the 23-year-old animal hunting and trapping specialist that apparently linked him to trophy hunting.

And last year Packham was forced to cancel his appearance at a dog festival after death threats were made against him from members of the shooting community.

He is also an active campaigner for climate change awareness, objecting to the government plans for UK high-speed rail network HS2 and joining the Extinction Rebellion protests that took over London last year.