Chris Packham has been found not guilty of assault in Malta, after having to appear in court following a confrontation with hunters he believed had been trapping wild birds.

The naturalist and BBC wildlife presenter is filming an independent documentary about alleged illegal bird hunting and trapping in the country, but found himself accused of breaking the law.

After appearing in court in Gozo on Thursday morning, he tweeted that he had been found "not guilty".

In a video posted on his Facebook page, Packham claimed that on Tuesday 18 April he had attempted to notify police of a possible illegal bird trapping. However, when the police arrived, instead of investigating the hunter, Packham himself was arrested and charged with "attempting to use force" and "pushing against" a Maltese man.

"[There was ] a man who had some birds in a cage," he said in the video. "He had [the birds] there initially, but by the time the police turned up they’d all mysteriously vanished. Weird that. And weird that [we’d] given a list of these birds to the police earlier in the day, but he wasn’t arrested, and he’s not going to court. I am.

"The police were very upset with me actually for having the temerity to point out to them quite democratically and legally that the birds in the man’s possession were potentially illegal captives. That’s what we’re up against.”

Packham is in Malta filming a documentary highlighting the spring hunt in Malta, attempting to highlight the supposed illegal hunting and trapping of migrating birds on the Mediterranean islands. 

Packham's producer Ruth Peacey tweeted a photo of a DVD containing video footage of the incident following the verdict, with Packham saying in another post, "wait until you see our evidence".

"Malta is transgressing the European Birds Directive, and there’s a lot of illegal activity taking place here, and a lot of legalised ie Maltese activity which doesn’t comply with what the rest of Europe wants to do with its birds," he claimed in the Facebook video above.

Packham says the footage from his latest expedition to the island will be made into a documentary film, Malta: Massacre on Migration, which he is planning to release on YouTube in the coming months. He has already completed a similar project on the island of Cyprus.