Chris Packham has revealed that he’s cancelled his TV work for the next three months after feeling completely “burnt out”.
The Winterwatch host said he is taking a break from screens for the first time in nearly four decades and is using the time to focus on his passion, creating abstract sculptures of animals.
The 61-year-old wildlife presenter told The Mirror: “I'm not going to buy a Ferrari and run off with a 20-year-old.
“I've never taken three months off work. Never. I can barely sleep I am so excited. I might have to ban [partner] Charlotte from the studios.”
Of his art project, Packham added: “I don't want any interference or disruption, I want to get on with it. It will be good to clear my head and focus on something completely different.”
The TV naturalist drew comparisons to lockdown and how many people found respite by being able to take to their free local green spaces.
The Autumnwatch star explained: “It doesn’t cost anything to go into a green space and when you are stressed, as we found in lockdown, a lot of people took to their green spaces – parks, nature reserves, gardens, whatever it was, and found an enormous mental-health benefit.
“It was a place to find solace and respite from the struggle and stress of life and I think this winter will throw up comparable situations for people that they endured during lockdown, so don’t forget that nature is there for you, it does have that calming breathing space and it does make a real different to people’s lives.”
Packham also predicted that the current economic climate could have a detrimental effect on conservation efforts.
He said: “One of the problems that we have in conservation is that, very often, our projects are long-term, so we need long-term funding for them to keep people in place and keep that project working and so that’s different than some other parts of the charitable sector.
“We hope that people will continue to give what they can afford, but we are also conscious of the fact that it will decline, of course.”