Ben Fogle talks meeting gangs in ‘US murder capital’ for Lost Worlds

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Ben Fogle will return to TV screens on Thursday night in the first episode of his new docuseries. The first instalment of Lost Worlds will see Ben travel to Detroit, Michigan, where he comes face to face with gang members and devastation across the city. Speaking to, Ben says he is excited for his fans to watch the series because it is unlike anything he has ever done before.

He said: “I’m looking forward to people watching it because it’s different from what I normally do. I usually spend time in proper wild, rugged parts of the world but Lost Worlds, by and large, takes me to urbanised and certainly civilised settlements. It’s more urban than rural.  

“The first one is in Detroit and I think what excites me is to see what happens when humans have ruined an environment or what happens when nature has ruined an environment.”

Teasing what is to come in the rest of the series, the adventurer explained that the team also explored an island destroyed by a volcano, the Green Line in Cyprus, and Scottish islands including St Kilda.

Ben explains that the aim of the series is to discover what good can come from devastation. He continued: “The series sort of began with my Chernobyl documentary, which was out last year to see what had happened with the rewilding of an abandoned location, and this carries on the same.

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“I’ve really, really enjoyed doing it because it has tested me.  

“You know, going to Detroit and meeting gang members and exploring the murder capital of the United States is very different to the kind of environments I usually work in.

“But I also believe that you have to keep mixing things up. Otherwise, people get bored of you and before you know it you’ve got your P45 and you’re out playing golf all day, and I don’t like golf, so that’s not going to work for me!”

As well as gearing up for his new TV show, Ben is also continuing his crusade against global warming.

Ben partnered with tech company HP and the Arbor Day Foundation to plant trees and highlight their importance in the fight against climate change and declining biodiversity.

Discussing why the cause is important to him, he told me: “There’s that great quote: ‘A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they will never sit.’ For me, that is what the climate crisis is right now.  

“We can’t click our fingers and have instant results and I think it is one of the problems with the overall messaging right now. People are almost turned off doing anything because they realise that we can’t have overnight results, we can’t just click our fingers and suddenly all will be ok.  

“But if we embrace campaigns like this one from HP, which I am really proud to have been part of, then I think it is where we will start to make a difference.”

Shockingly, the UK is one of the most nature depleted countries in the world, with only around half its biodiversity left.

This means that the UK is in the bottom 10 percent globally for biodiversity, according to a report from the Natural History Museum.

In addition, WWF states that one in seven native UK species are facing extinction, and more that 40 percent are in decline.

On these stats, Ben continued: “It’s pretty embarrassing, let’s be honest. I don’t think any of the UK’s stats are standing up on a world stage right now.

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“This was a nation that was once great, this is a nation that once led the way. I would hope moving forward, that is something we can do as a nation.  

“Moving forwards, I think we need to empower people a little bit more, in fact, not even just empower but enable.

“We have had the fear factor, and I’m not saying we don’t need it, but I think that enabling is very important for those who think, ‘What can we do? What can little old me do to actually make a dent in those terrifying statistics?’  

“The reality is that you can. As a consumer, you can choose what you buy and the impact that has, you can choose a brand or a product according to what their goals and aspirations are.

“Planting trees is not the only thing, but we mustn’t underestimate the cause and effect that has.”

Ben has also created a short film highlighting the need for protection and restoration of UK forests and woodlands. You can watch it via Ben’s Instagram page.

His followers are encouraged to comment what they love about the natural environment and each comment will pledge a further three trees to help restore UK biodiversity (T&Cs apply).

As part of its Forest Positive programme, HP has helped plant a total of one million trees globally in 2020/2021, with a further goal of one million more trees planted by the end of 2022.

It’s important to partner with experts in reforestation efforts, as you can’t simply plant any type of tree you want, anywhere you want. Local teams on the ground make sure that any new trees are in keeping with the area’s existing natural woodland and maintain the biodiversity of the location.

Ben Fogle’s Lost Worlds airs Thursday at 9pm on Channel 5.

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