World Austim Awareness Day is on 2 April and with this in mind we have chosen Chris Packham as our Inspirational Diversity Champion of the month. Chris is a naturalist, nature photographer, television presenter and author.
He is particularly known for his work as a television presenter, which began in 1986 with the BAFTA-winning BBC1 children’s programme The Really Wild Show and nature photography series Wild Shots on Channel 4.
Since June 2009, he has co-presented the BBC Two nature programme Springwatch and its sister programmes Autumnwatch and Winterwatch.
He formed the production company Head Over Heels with producer Stuart Woodman, making wildlife programmes for Discovery Channel, National Geographic, and the BBC.
In October 2017, he presented a documentary about his experience as a high-functioning person with Asperger’s, ‘Chris Packham: Asperger’s and Me’ and at the same time he became an Ambassador for the National Autistic Society.
He is vice-president of the RSPB, the Wildlife Trusts, Butterfly Conservation, the Brent Lodge Bird & Wildlife Trust, The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust and Grace Secondary School (The Sudan) and a patron of many others.
In 2011 he was awarded the Dilys Breese Medal, by the British Trust for Ornithology, for his “outstanding work in promoting science to new audiences”.
In December 2013, he was made an honorary Doctor of Science by the University of Southampton, having originally graduated from the university more than 30 years earlier.
In December 2014, Packham was voted “Conservation Hero of the Year” by readers of Birdwatch magazine in association with the online BirdGuides website for his work in publicising the illegal slaughter in Malta of millions of migrating birds.
In October 2016 he received a Wildscreen Panda Award for Outstanding Achievement and in 2019 he was awarded a CBE for services to nature conservation.