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PREVIEW: Chris Packham - The Walk That Made Me, BBC Two

This is Chris Packham as you’ve never seen him before.

Chris Packham embarks on a deeply personal and emotional journey through his often challenging past, as he walks in the beautiful Hampshire countryside that he says shaped, and probably saved, his life.

Wandering along the River Itchen and Itchen Navigation, Chris explores the importance of natural surroundings when it comes to wellbeing. His walk stirs up powerful and difficult memories of living with undiagnosed Asperger’s Syndrome as he was growing up. He recalls travelling this very stretch with his father and playing in the fields with his beloved kestrel. Chris describes how nature saved him from a life of isolation and pain.

Walking with a hand-held 360-degree camera, he heads north, starting a few miles outside Southampton and ending up at Winchester Cathedral. Following the path of one the oldest waterways in the country, he meets those who live, work and play in the area.

With his characteristic wit and encyclopaedic knowledge, he discusses the joy that water brings to wild swimmers. Chris also observes local enthusiasts as they maintain centuries-old farming practices by flooding a local meadow.

Along the way he offers thoughts on mental health that he hopes will help others and describes the life saving and life-changing qualities of ‘natural health’, including his childhood walk, and time spent with his poodle companions.

Airs Wednesday on BBC Two.

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