Naturalist and broadcaster Chris Packham to host new BBC Two documentary, Chris Packham: The Walk That Made Me.
Chris Packham goes on an emotional walk through the idyllic Hampshire countryside as he contemplates the challenges he has faced in the past.
Strolling along the River Itchen and Itchen Navigation, Packham highlights how important nature is for people’s wellbeing.
During the walk, Packham remembers difficult memories of growing up with undiagnosed Asperger’s Syndrome and reminisces about the walks he had with his father and playing in the fields with his kestrel and poodle companions.
Using a hand-held 360-degree camera, Packham travels north, beginning a few miles outside of Southampton and ending at Winchester Cathedral.
Following the path of one of the oldest waterways in the country, Packham uses his characteristic wit and knowledge as he meets the people who live, work and play in the area.
He learns about the joy the water brings to wild swimmers and follows local enthusiasts who help to maintain centuries-old farming practices.
Packham credits the walks he took through the Hampshire countryside as something that shaped and saved his life. Walking along the route that helped him forge his life-long love of nature, Packham talks about mental health and the life-saving and life-changing qualities of natural health.
Reflecting on his journey, Packham commented: “Those meadows were my playground. Where I came to skip and run, and search and learn, and escape and survive. Those meadows shaped and probably saved my life.
“Walking every day is now central to my mental health regime. And the reason why I talk about this stuff is because I still fear that out there somewhere there will be teenagers all over the UK, people in their early 20s with Asperger’s or something similar, stuck in their bedrooms and they will be really, really unhappy.
“Having been there, I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. It does get better, the more of your life you can control, the better it gets.”
Chris Packham: The Walk That Made Me will air on BBC Two at 8pm on 28 July.