Chris Packham hails Lochaber’s Holly as ‘very special young person’

Chris Packham and Meggan McCubbin chatting to Holly via internet link on Monday. NO F19 holly and chris 02

Want to read more?

At the start of the pandemic in March we took the decision to make online access to our news free of charge by taking down our paywall. At a time where accurate information about Covid-19 was vital to our community, this was the right decision – even though it meant a drop in our income. In order to help safeguard the future of our journalism, the time has now come to reinstate our paywall, However, rest assured that access to all Covid related news will still remain free.

To access all other news will require a subscription, as it did pre-pandemic. The good news is that for the whole of December we will be running a special discounted offer to get 3 months access for the price of one month. Thank you for supporting us during this incredibly challenging time.

We value our content and access to our full site is only available with a  subscription. Your subscription entitles you to 7-day-a-week access to our website, plus a full digital copy of that week’s paper to read on your pc/mac or mobile device.  In addition, your subscription includes access to digital archive copies from 2006 onwards.

Just want to read one issue? No problem you can subscribe for just one week (or longer if you wish).

Already a subscriber?


Subscribe Now

Well-known naturalist, wildlife conservation campaigner and broadcaster Chris Packham has heaped praise on Lochaber’s own teenage climate and wildlife campaigner, Holly Gillibrand.

Holly, a pupil at Lochaber High School and an environment correspondent for the Lochaber Times who has garnered a national profile from her school strikes every Friday to highlight the climate emergency, appeared on Chris’ daily online Facebook programme, Wild Mornings with Chris/Self-Isolating Bird Club.

Holly was invited to appear via internet link from her home near Fort William to talk about her role in helping raptor expert Lewis Pate ring two osprey chicks on Loch Arkaig.

Holly speaking via internet link from her home outside Fort William to Chris Packham on his live online Facebook show on Monday. NO F19 holly and chris 01
Holly speaking via internet link from her home outside Fort William to Chris Packham on his live online Facebook show on Monday.

She told the Lochaber Times how the special guest appearance on the show fronted by Chris and his zoologist step-daughter, Megan McCubbin: ‘Basically, Chris sent out a message to various people, inviting them to appear on the morning livestream.

‘I was one of the people that received an email, so I got back in touch to say that I would like to talk about the Loch Arkaig ospreys because I helped Lewis ring the two chicks, Mallie and Rannoch, last year. I then got hold of some footage from the ringing and was given a date to come on.

‘I’ve been in touch with Chris for about a year, but he’s been a hero of mine for a really long time, so in a way it’s a bit surreal to know and work alongside him.

‘I was delighted to appear on his and Megan McCubbin’s morning livestream because it is really important that we stay connected to nature during and after lockdown and the Self Isolating Bird Club is a way for people to engage with the natural world from inside their homes.’

Introducing Holly on the show, Chris described the Lochaber youngster as having a ‘forthright approach to everything’, saying she said what she thinks and what she thinks is always carefully thought through with absolute clarity.

And he added: ‘I would say she is a remarkably intelligent, go-getting young woman with a great future in environmental conservation – and now I have probably embarrassed her!’