Chris Packham has criticised Britons for being nature lovers “only when it suits us” and dismissed reports of people getting attacked by foxes.

The 50-year-old wildlife presenter, who has previously waded into controversy for saying that pandas should be allowed to die out and for calling on parents to have fewer children, told the Radio Times that people only liked nature “when it’s on TV or at arm’s length”.

The presenter of Channel 4 show Foxes Live: Wild In The City said there was no proof that foxes attack dogs and cats except in “exceptional circumstances”.

Chris said that the urbanisation of the fox was “celebrated” in the late 1960s but “now we’ve seemingly tired of their antics and we’re hell-bent on blaming them for all the crimes we can”.

“But their only true crime is … being too successful and that’s another thing we Brits just can’t stand,” he told the magazine.

“Validated assaults of dogs and cats are non-existent, except under exceptional circumstances.

“And as for attacks on humans – I’ll be necessarily diplomatic – I don’t believe it,” he said.

Chris, best known for presenting BBC’s Springwatch, added: “A nation of nature lovers? Only when it suits us, when it’s on TV or at arm’s length.

“But as soon as a species survives in spite of us, has the effrontery to become common, then we want to control it – kill it.”