BBC Springwatch presenter Chris Packham came under fire on Twitter last night for suggesting lapwings were being shot ‘despite a 53 per cent decline’.
Mr Packham posted a tweet which linked to a petition calling on the Government to introduce a moratorium on the hunting of ‘critically declining’ wading birds such as woodcocks, snipe and golden plover. Lapwings were not mentioned.
Farmers and others were quick to react to the tweet, accusing Mr Packham of ‘deliberately spreading lies’ and ‘losing the plot’.
Sorry @ChrisGPackham who exactly is shooting them? We're doing everything we can to provide food, nesting sites and removing predators!— Jake Freestone (@No1FarmerJake)
@ChrisGPackham When you tweet unfounded info about Lapwings being shot why should we believe anything you say? You disappoint me.— Longwool (@Longwool)
@ChrisGPackham farming on the edge of Birmingham numbers are up I am sure why would anybody shoot them ?— Michael Oakes (@m19mao)
@ChrisGPackham it is simply not true! I love your work but this is an error. Please think again and retract. Reasons are reduction mxd farms— Naomi Langford-Wood (@NaomiLWood)
@ChrisGPackham Do you deliberately spread lies, because you know it is almost impossible to call them back? You disgust me Packham.— David Eyles (@Drystonesonnet)
@ChrisGPackham this misinformation has been RT'd nearly 200 times. You should take your responsibilities to the public more seriously.— Liam Stokes (@LNJStokes)
@ChrisGPackham where is your information they are being shot? more lies, better to concentrate on predation and leave your politics at home— Biff Keenan (@biffkeenan)
@ChrisGPackham Utter crap, not only do we not shoot them we mark the nests to avoid them with our machinery. Our favourite farmland bird.— David White (@RTKfarmer)
@ChrisGPackham you realise farmers look after lapwings as part of HLS and CSS schemes. They don't shoot them. You are headline grabbing— Charlie Mack (@charlie_h_mack)
Former NFU president and AHDB chairman Peter Kendall called for the BBC to sack Mr Packham, claiming he was ‘compromised’.
Mr Packham was later forced to clarify lapwings are not shot in the UK, but the wording of his apology forced some to question whether he was in control of his own Twitter account.
Earlier this today an incorrectly worded tweet about Lapwings was posted on this account. Obviously they are not shot in the UK! Apologies!— Chris Packham (@ChrisGPackham)
Earlier this today an incorrectly worded tweet about Lapwings was posted on this account. Obviously they are not shot in the UK! Apologies!— Chris Packham (@ChrisGPackham) January 8, 2017
@ChrisGPackham so you don't write your own tweets then Chris?— Jake Freestone (@No1FarmerJake)
As the graphic says Lapwings are a conservation icon - protected even though declining less than woodcock . I apologise for this mistake .— Chris Packham (@ChrisGPackham)
As the graphic says Lapwings are a conservation icon - protected even though declining less than woodcock . I apologise for this mistake .— Chris Packham (@ChrisGPackham) January 9, 2017