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Steve Backshall to inspire wildlife lovers in Malvern

Malvern Editorial 10th Jul, 2015 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

WHETHER it is swimming with crocodiles or hanging off cliffs, wildlife presenter Steve Backshall has certainly seen and done a lot in his career.

So as part of his Wild World Tour the BAFTA-award winning naturalist will be looking share his experiences with the people of Malvern.

Observer editor, Geoff Berkeley, spoke to him to find out about his new show, which will appear at the Forum Theatre on November 5, and uncover his passion to get youngsters to embrace the great outdoors.

STEVE Backshall is one of Britain’s most well-known adventurers. He has faced some of the world’s deadliest animals, abseiled down giant glaciers and swam alongside great white sharks.

But there is nothing he likes doing more than spending time in his back garden and he believes there is plenty out there for wildlife enthusiasts to get excited about.

“If I go out of my back door and I close my eyes and listen there are ten different species of birds around me,” he said.

“If I lift up a log I would probably find a whole bunch of invertebrates which I rarely ever see.

“I was out last night with my bat detector and I found three different species of bats flying around my house.

“So there is no doubt that once you start enquiring and start opening your mind that even the tamest of places have great wonders and discoveries.”

The 42-year-old’s love affair with the great outdoors began when he was an inquisitive young child living on a small farm in Surrey.

Although he had the luxury of being surrounded by all types of animals, he has put his passion for creepy crawlies and mini-beasts down to his parents.

Steve said he recognised that advances in technology have led to more distractions for youngsters growing up.

But he added he does not believe enough had been done to get children off the sofa and into their back garden.

“I don’t want to get on my soap box and start stamping my feet, because the moment I do that is the moment when young people ignore me,” he said.

“But I do know how good life can be if it is spent being active and out watching the birds.

“There are definite challenges in getting kids outside. But there are more opportunities out there now than perhaps when I was a kid.

“There are an awful lot of outdoor sports and a lot of wildlife charities which did not exist when I was a kid.

“But at the same time people are more afraid and more fearful of the natural world than they ever were before.

“So I need to make sure that both adults and kids know that there is a tremendous amount to be gained.”

Whether it has been on children’s television shows including Deadly 60 and the Really Wild Show or his numerous wildlife books, his enthusiasm for nature has always been clear to see.

And Steve is now looking to take to the stage to inspire aspiring adventurers and give them the opportunity to put him on the spot.

“It will be a talk about the exhibitions which I have been on over the years, including first descents of jungle mountains, first trips down into dark caves which have never before seen light and diving with crocodiles,” he said.

“The audience will also get the chance to learn what it is like to dive beneath Antarctic ice with a leopard seal, what it is like to live on a vertical rock face for a week hanging in just a harness and an opportunity to quiz me and learn whatever they would like about the natural world, animals and exhibitions.

“First and foremost I want to make sure the show is entertaining and fun.

“But if a certain amount of people take home the message or a certain amount of people want to get involved then that is fantastic.”

Anyone interested in buying tickets to see Steve Backshall’s Wild World Tour at the Forum Threatre in Malvern should contact 01684 892277.

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