Wildlife presenter Chris Packham has backed a march and protest against the £274m Norwich Western Link road - branding the scheme "utter madness".

The BBC Winterwatch presenter said Norfolk County Council's planned road, which would connect the Northern Distributor Road to the A47 west of Norwich, would be "catastrophic for wildlife".

Dereham Times: Chris PackhamChris Packham (Image: PA)

He took to X, formerly Twitter, to urge people to join Saturday's protest against the road.

Mr Packham last week backed environmental campaigner Dr Andrew Boswell in his legal challenge over major revamp schemes on the A47 in Norfolk.

Campaign group Stop The Wensum Link has organised the march against the 3.9-mile road.

The march will leave from near Norwich's Wensum Park at 12pm and will head to Norwich City Hall, where there will be speeches between about 1.30pm and 3pm.

Speakers will include Nick Acheson, ambassador for the Norfolk Wildlife Trust, Norwich South Labour MP Clive Lewis MP and Dr Fiona Haworth, associate priest of St Peter Mancroft Church.

Dereham Times: A visualisation of the Norwich Western LinkA visualisation of the Norwich Western Link (Image: Norfolk County Council)

Supporters of the road, including business leaders and people living in villages such as Weston Longville, have said it is essential to boost the county's economy and stop rural roads from being clogged with traffic.

But campaigners argue the road will cause more pollution, increase carbon emissions, encourage more car use and damage wildlife habitats, including rare barbastelle bats.

Critics have also said Conservative-controlled County Hall is taking a huge financial gamble with the road.

The government has agreed to bankroll £213m of the cost and council leaders hope Whitehall can be persuaded to part with more, to cover £251m of the bill.

Dereham Times: Kay Mason Billig, leader of Norfolk County CouncilKay Mason Billig, leader of Norfolk County Council (Image: Norfolk County Council)

Norfolk County Council leader Kay Mason Billig previously warned Norwich would be "left behind" if the road, which includes a viaduct over the Wensum Valley, is not built.