HAMPSHIRE naturalist Chris Packham has vowed to have some “cheeky little words” about hunting when he goes to collect his CBE at Buckingham Palace.

The TV presenter, a passionate defender of wildlife, was named in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list for his services to nature conservation.

Generations of the monarchy have enjoyed country pursuits, including hunting.

Chris, 57, said he did not care if it was “deemed inappropriate” to bring up the subject of shooting game with members of the royal family when he receives the honour.

He told the Radio Times magazine: “There will be lots of cheeky little words, I assure you. Nobody ever gets off the hook around me.

“You don’t get many opportunities in life, and sometimes people are a little bit shy, but if I meet someone of influence I will use that opportunity.”

Chris, who lives in the New Forest, is also a critic of the activity which has replaced foxhunting.

Hunting with dogs was outlawed by the last Labour government. Since then the New Forest Hounds (NFH) and other hunts have turned to trail hunting, which involves hounds chasing an artificial scent.

But critics claim it can result in hunts breaking the law by pursuing a fox – either accidentally or deliberately.

Earlier this month Chris urged the NFH to switch to drag hunting, with hounds tracking either a human runner or a chemical scent, and even offered to be their first human quarry if they made the change.

But the NFH has described Chris’s suggestion as “impractical”.

The broadcaster is vice president of the RSPB and the RSPCA and also supports other animal welfare charities but is best known for hosting BBC Two’s Winterwatch and other natural history shows.

He praised the royal family for raising awareness around mental health issues.

The presenter, who has Asperger’s syndrome, said: “One of the positives of the royal family is that they have been talking openly and honestly about mental health.”