Springwatch: Chris Packham apologises for 'mistake'
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BBC Springwatch presenter Hannah Stitfall had admitted that her husband thinks she’s a “lunatic” for sitting outside for extended periods of time in an effort to capture the perfect wildlife photograph. Speaking to Express.co.uk about the Great Big Green Week, the conservationist spoke about how the past 18 months in the coronavirus pandemic ignited the nation’s love of the outdoors, while admitting that not everyone is prepared to go to the lengths she does as a nature photographer and environmentalist.
My husband thinks I’m a lunatic
Speaking about how the population came to love the great outdoors over the coronavirus pandemic, Hannah said she hoped the enthusiasm was something that could be sustained and used to promote action against climate change.
The conservationist said: “I’m optimistic, there’s a lot of people down my street that have become really interested in wildlife.
“And it’s so funny, because they know I do it as a job.
“We get so many questions all the time. ‘Well, what’s this flower? What’s this?'” she added.
The star added that even people she knows who hadn’t previously shown an interest in nature had messaged her, curious to learn more over the past year.
Hannah explained: “I mean, even my girlfriends in London, like my real girly girl mates, they’re not into wildlife at all.
“But during the pandemic I was getting so many photographs from them on WhatsApp like, ‘What’s this?’. That was really nice.”
However, the BBC presenter acknowledged that not everyone will have the same level of enthusiasm on the subject as she does.
“Not everybody’s going to be into wildlife and want to sit in hedgerows for 14 hours to try and take a photograph, which is what I do,” Hannah confessed.
“My husband thinks I’m a lunatic,” she added.
Speaking about how the nation flocked to enjoy the great outdoors over the course of the last 18 months, Hannah said she hopes the interest in nature can continue.
She went on: “I am optimistic that this newfound love will stay with people and it’s just about continually engaging them as I said, you know, everybody fell in love with the natural world and it did get them through probably the worst year that hopefully we will all experience.
“The Wildlife Trust’s 30 Days Wild campaign that runs through the month of June every year, last year was the most successful ever, ever it had 750,000 people signed up.
“That’s a monumental win for engaging people with the natural world as it gives them the resources to do the simplest things.
“And now doing events such as Great Big Green Week, [it has] over 4500 events across the UK, which can harness this newfound open interest with issues of climate change and the natural world and that’s why these events are so important.”
Research published by the Climate Coalition shows that 46 million people in the UK now rely on nature to boost their mental health, including turning to local parks, green spaces and nature spots for their wellbeing.
It went on to say that 51% of people say that pandemic lockdowns have made them appreciate it more while three quarters have expressed their concern about the future of nature and beauty spots.
Addressing the statistics, Hannah explained: “People have really taken nature on board and as a conservationist it’s amazing to see how many people have started engaging with the nature around them, whether it was a snail in their garden or the first daffodil, there was a real overarching of love for the natural world that came about and that’s because of the pandemic.
“But now things are starting to get a little bit back to normal I am optimistic that this newfound love will stay with a lot of people.
“When you think about it, it brought them so much happiness in a really dark and depressing time, so I’m hoping that it continues,” she added.
Great Big Green Week saw communities across the country come together in a UK-wide celebration of climate action, with over 4,500 events taking place across the nation to show their support for urgent action against climate change.
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