David Attenborough regrets not doing more to preserve wildlife in the UK

David Attenborough loves British wildlife credit:Bang Showbiz
David Attenborough loves British wildlife credit:Bang Showbiz

David Attenborough regrets not doing more to protect British wildlife.

The ‘Wild Isles’ star was unable to do more about nature in the UK - despite gaining international fame for his documentaries celebrating flora and fauna all over the world - because of an agreement made due to “internal BBC politics” when he joined the public broadcaster in 1952.

The 96-year-old environmentalist said: “There was a chap trying to establish Bristol then as a centre of natural history. He knew which strings to pull and I could see things coming to a head.

“Eventually we had a meeting and it was agreed I wouldn’t look at British natural history at all.”

David - whose career has extended nearly seven decades - explained that his part of the bargain was “stuck to until very recently”.

He told The Telegraph: “Instead, I would go to Africa, South America and so on and [they] could deal with natural history in Britain. And I stuck to that until very recently.”

“If there is one thing I regret, and to be honest there isn’t a lot, it would be that I spent so much time doing overseas natural history.”

Recently, the ‘Blue Planet’ star gave an explanation of how “parasitic fungus” Cordyceps - the fungus depicted in the new HBO smash hit ‘The Last of Us’ - possesses creatures like ants.

David said: “Jungle ants don’t have it all their own way. These bullet ants are showing some worrying symptoms. Spores from a parasitic fungus called Cordyceps have infiltrated their bodies and their minds.”

“Its infected brain directs this ant upwards, then, utterly disorientated it grips a stem with its mandibles. Those afflicted that are discovered by other workers are taken away and dumped far away from the colony. It seems extreme, but this is the reason why: like something from science fiction, the fruiting body of the Cordyceps erupts from the ant’s head.”

“It can take three weeks to grow, and when finished the deadly spores will burst from its grip. Then any ant in the vicinity will be in serious risk of death. The fungus is so virulent it can wipe out whole colonies of ants. And, it’s not just ants that fall victim to this killer: there are literally thousands of different types of Cordyceps fungi, and remarkably each specialises in just one species.”