Chris Packham’s secrets

Have you seen Chris Packham’s Secrets of Our Living Planet series?  I have to confess to having seen only most of one episode of the three that have been broadcast.  My eye didn’t travel further than the football that was on TV and that’s why I have missed them.

I caught most of last Sunday’s programme about grizzly bears, salmon and the forests of British Columbia and it was very good but I don’t know exactly how it ended as I was watching the start of Spain’s amazing performance against Italy.  And, thinking back, his second programme clashed with England’s exit from Euro 2012 – I definitely should have learned about savannahs instead of watching England exit on penalties as usual – nothing learned there!

Still there is no excuse for this coming Sunday and wetlands.

Have you watched these programmes? What did you think of them?

I really did think that Sunday’s programme was a significant cut above the run of the mill wildlife programmes – and that isn’t just because Chris has written a very kind foreword for Fighting for Birds.  I prefer to think that the fact that Chris Packham cares passionately about wildlife is the reason he rather liked my book.

 

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28 Replies to “Chris Packham’s secrets”

  1. I've seen the first 2 programmes of the series & thought they were just brilliant! As you say, a cut above most nature programmes, & a lot of them are very good too.
    I expect you can catch up with them on I player- I especially liked the one on Grasslands!

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  2. I've seen all three and they have been fantastic-not dumbed down at all, but still accessible to all. I watched this week's with my 7 year old who really enjoyed it too. So refreshing to have a nature series that shows how everything is linked together-even salmon and trees!

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    1. Emma -exactly! It's a pity it clasjed with the football (for me at least0. And has the series been plugged by the BBC - I haven't noticed. Certainly less than the less wonderful Planet Earth live.

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      1. I didn't see any ads or plugs for it-missed the 1st as I was in A&E with my eldest, heard about it thro a friend so watched it on iplayer. So many will gave missed it as they were unaware it was on.

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  3. Just a fantastic series. Educational,humorous and crucially a wonderful insight into the interconnections of nature.

    Ironically it appears ther may be a connection between wildlife and football lovers .....are they a similar breed as many wildlife fans too were footballers and missed Chris.... Just a thought !

    Let the BBC know you found the programme informative and entertaining !

    http://faq.external.bbc.co.uk/questions/contact/comment

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  4. Fantastic programmes, Mark. Good timing too because I am liaising with a Year 4 teacher to use the series for teaching habitats. Amazing to think that the programmes were derived with the OU in mind yet are accessible to all ages.

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  5. Watched all three on iPlayer Mark and I really enjoyed them. I know not everyone like CP but I do. The three episodes brought home to me how we have wrecked our ecosystems and that conservation is not just about species. As he quotes in episode 2, the savannah's need the elephants just as much as the elephants need the savannahs.

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  6. I've watched all three programmes and even missed the first fifteen minutes of the footy final! These are superb programmes, Chris Packham's communication skills and his evident enthusiasm together with the excellent photography do, I believe, make these essential environmental treatises, accessible to all. Could Chris be the new David Attenborough? I wonder if he'll appear on your list of 21st century naturalists, Mark? After all he already has a BTO Cuckoo named after him!
    I do hope the BBC show the programmes again and target a larger audience.

    Richard.

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  7. Have watched them all and find them fascinating. Chris is great as a presenter imparting his huge knowledge with infectious enthusiasm. It`s so important to teach future generations that there are huge consequences to losing a seemingly insignificant creature or indeed vegetation and trees. Hopefully it will be repeated at a less challenging time !

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    1. Laura - welcome and thank you. Everyone seems to agree. There must be some dissenting voices out there - or maybe not?

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      1. I did see a fragment of one of the programmes but as soon as I heard the word "Cerrado" I switched channels - preferring to marvel at the evolutionary quirk which gave Inspector Barnaby such short arms and permanently pursed lips.

        However today, prompted by this blog, I followed the link to Chris Packham .co.uk and shortly became quite nauseated by the purple prose and teleological leanings.

        Consequently I have spent time more enjoyably, watching two pairs of spotted flycatchers to-ing and fro-ing, one pair with a nest in the grapevine under the front bedroom window, the other above a beam under the thatch behind the house. The Grapevines are using a hazel wigwam outside my office window, the Beamers the washing line. Our little grey visitors bring me more pleasure than, vicariously, any number of swamp crabs in Bangladesh could ever do.

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          1. "but you seem to be in a minority"

            Situation normal.

            But if you read my lips I didn't criticise the programme. I'm just bored by constant mention of the Cerrado. I'll guess that the programmes are very good - I wouldn't know, as I didn't watch them.

            As for the writings on the website (which might not be written by CP - it's not clear): I do take issue with teleology. It's a slack approach to narrative and I believe it hinders understanding, and introduces the notion of purposeful intent and cooperation between species.

            As for the gush - ho hum. I won't be going 'Aww’, ‘Wow’, or shedding tears at the 'sheer beauty of it all'. I guess I'm a Carlinist at heart.

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          2. Filbert - good comments thank you. I do wonder why you are bored with mention of the Cerrado but maybe that is for another time. I am tempted to blog about the place just to flush out your opinions - you see, your slightly quirky views are valued that much here!

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  8. I saw the programme about grizzlies, salmon and the forest, and thought it was worth watching. However it could have been better. He kept saying how the forest up to 30-40 yards from the river depended on nutrients from the salmon, but failed to say how that part differed from the forest further from the river which did not get the additional nutrients. Presumably there is a significant difference. Still very interesting though.

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    1. Phil - welcome and thank you. I did wonder the same thing, but I agree it was a very good programme.

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  9. I caught the first one about the relationships between species in rain forests and honestly thought it was the best TV wildlife programme I had seen for years. I caught the repeat and stayed up until after midnight. I had no idea about the way Brazil Nut Tree, agoutis and an orchid and found it very stimulating. I emailed Chris to congratulate him but the bad news is there are no plans to do anything similar in the future.

    Sadly I have been in Alberta since so have missed the rest. I hope to catch up when I get back next week.

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  10. I have watched all three so far. They are fascinating! Having been interested in nature all my life, of course I know about "food chains", but these programs take the inter-connected-ness of life much further than simple food chains, and reveal links between different species that I would never have imagined. I hope they will be repeated in a couple of years, when my nature-loving grandson will be old enough to learn from them.

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  11. A brilliant programme! Although I do love football I couldn't possibly miss a minute of what is surely one of the best shows BBC have ever produced, and that is saying something considering the fantastic range of wildlife they've brought us. More from Chris please BBC

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  12. The best wildlife series for donkey's years! [ Football a miserable bottom on the list of alternatives. ] More please. I'm very impressed with Chris as a presenter - because he understands and knows his subject - the camera is following his knowledge, not the other way round, which has been the yawn factor in many recent wildlife series. Suggest this series is made compulsory viewing in schools. My only concern was that he didn't seem to change is shirt once - phew!

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  13. @Mark July 5, 2012 – 10:54 am

    The bleeding-heart MSM was so fascinated by the Cerrado that it was never mentioned until people started to clear it to grow soybean to feed pigs. Now they won't stop (mentioning).

    That's in Brazil. The big issue is much wider. The soybeans are RR, and apart from the injustice of the clearances (qv) this means that the entire crop contains traces, not only of glyphosate, but all the other co-formulations. Further, the use of glyphosate is not restricted to RR crops - glyphosate, closely related compounds and diquat used as routine "harvest management" affect about 90% of our combinable crops.

    Here's a link:
    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2012/07/04/gmo-tests-showing-bad-effects/

    Quirky world-view? Clockwise is anti-clockwise if you are the clock.

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    1. Filbert - that is a very good example of the type of comment that you make which will always be very welcome on this blog, thank you.

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