Belfast Telegraph

Kate Humble: Wildlife shows are not getting people outside into nature

The TV presenter said we are just ‘watching everything remotely’.

Kate Humble launches a new initiative to reconnect people with birdsong (Matt Alexander/PA)
Kate Humble launches a new initiative to reconnect people with birdsong (Matt Alexander/PA)

TV presenter Kate Humble has said wildlife shows are failing to persuade people to get outside and experience nature for themselves.

The ex-Springwatch host complained that people are just “watching everything remotely”.

Humble, 50, praised her former BBC documentary series, Springwatch, and big hit Planet Earth.

But the naturalist told the Press Association: “Given that I am such a country bumpkin, I really don’t understand what the barrier is.

“We have got wonderful access to wild spaces, we have got nature reserves, parks, natural parks, all of which are very accessible to everybody.

“So, in a way, there is no excuse.

“We have just become increasingly urbanised. We tend to listen to music rather than listen to the natural music of birdsong.”

Humble, speaking at the launch of an initiative by shopping centres owner Intu to reconnect people with nature, added: “We are so distracted by so many other things. It really is at our peril.”

She said it was “gut-wrenchingly sad that children are suffering really badly with depression, with anxiety…”, adding that experiencing nature can make an “enormous difference”.

“TV programmes, they’re a help, they do inspire,” she said.

“Springwatch is about to come back, and that’s a wonderful way of showcasing Britain’s wildlife and wild spaces.

“Programmes like Planet Earth, people love to watch them.

“But what we need to encourage people to do is then, once they have watched the telly, is to step out into the real world – not just watch everything remotely.

“That’s what we seem to fail to be doing at the moment.

“We, as wildlife programme-makers, are trying to do everything we can to connect people with the natural world but somehow we haven’t cracked it yet”.

A 10-minute track featuring the songs of 10 native British birds and other species, including the cuckoo, wood pigeon and blue tit, will be available for shoppers to listen to at Intu shopping centres nationwide in May.

PA

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