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The future Chris Packham?

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The Mole | 14:49 UK time, Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Lindsay looks like a perfectly ordinary 19-year-old but he patently isn't.

"I quite like the idea of being bitten by an adder," he tells me, "just to see how I'd react."

lindsay.jpgLindsay is Springwatch's production runner. He has just finished school and is well on his way to achieving his dream. Not the dream of being bitten by the UK's only deadly snake, thank goodness, but the other dream of being a professional wildlife cameraman, traveling the world, and 'living in all sorts of discomfort'.

"I'm lucky really. Near where where I live in Cumbria we have almost every environment within a ten mile radius. There's the Duddon Estuary, peat bogs, lakes, scree slopes, sand dunes, mountain tops, everything. From as early as I can remember I've spent every free moment outside. Then as soon as I get back home, I look up the animals I saw and learn about them. My sister thinks I'm nuts."

In 2005, when he was 15, Lindsay sent a long letter to Springwatch inviting them to film in his native Cumbria. Impressed but unable to take him up on his kind offer, the Springwatch team sent him a hand-held camera with infrared capability which Lindsay used to film badgers in his local bluebell wood. This footage was then featured on the show itself.

Four years later it is Lindsay himself who is featuring onthe show. His discovery of two wren nests has so impressed the producers that they are having Chris Packham do a piece with him later on today - weather permitting. In fact, people here are so certain of his rosy future that when Chris asked who Lindsay was, Kate Humble quickly replied: "The boy whose going to be taking over your trailer."

Yet so far it hasn't gone to his head. When he isn't filming badgers, this young member of the Herpatological Conservation Trust likes to spend his time looking for reptiles like poisonous adders.

"I've been hissed at by adders loads of time, and they've occasionally lunged at me, but I've never been bitten. If you spook them they shoot off but then they always come back to the same spot five minutes later. Once I scared one off by trying to crawl up to it on my elbows. Sure enough, five minutes later it came back and curled up in exactly the same spot ... which happened to be right underneath my chin. It was great."

So if he isn't scared of poisonous snakes biting him, then what is he scared of?

"Chris Packham interviewing me in front of the cameras - I'm absolutely dreading it. I hate being being in front of the camera."

But being bitten by an adder? That's just child's play...

Update 1 June 2009:
Take a look at this feature that Springwatch made on Lindsay back in 2005.

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