'Top place to watch birds'

PUBLISHED: 16:21 16 October 2008 | UPDATED: 09:48 10 June 2010

A TELEVISION presenter has declared Topsham one of the top places in the world to go bird watching". Chris Packham, the Inside Out presenter for the BBC and natural history author, was in Topsham on Friday, October 10, giving a talk on bird watching, wil

A TELEVISION presenter has declared Topsham "one of the top places in the world to go bird watching".Chris Packham, the Inside Out presenter for the BBC and natural history author, was in Topsham on Friday, October 10, giving a talk on bird watching, wildlife and creepy crawlies, to more than 200 people in Matthews Hall.The presenter was invited to talk by the Topsham Birdwatching and Naturalist Society as part of the Hilda Parish Memorial lecture, named after its benefactor who left £10,000 to the group.Mr Packham, who lives in Southampton, said: "I have worked here a lot - Bowling Green hide is one of the top places in the world to go bird watching."He discussed conservation issues and the effects of global warming on local wildlife, "there is no room for complacency in the community, the community has to step in and save its environment", he said.The talk, part of a series of lectures organised by the group, was also aimed at young people and getting them to look at animals and insects differently, to appreciate the "everyday wildlife"."We get so obsessed with the exotic," the conservationist said, "but some of the most beautiful things are not the most glamorous and are accessible."The group, which will celebrate its 40th birthday next year, holds regular talks on bird watching and nature in the local area and has an annual coach trip.Chairman Richard Hargreaves said: "This is the biggest name we've ever had - with the money given by Hilda we thought we would do one big lecture and then see if we can do it again in a couple of years."It cost the group over £1,000 to book the BBC presenter for the evening.The next lecture will be on Friday, October 17, by A J Bellamy, from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, who has been working on the conservation of the Falkland Islands.It will be held in Matthews Hall at 7.30pm.Membership is £15 for three years.For more information contact Keith or Jan Chester on (01392) 877817.

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