About me...

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Martin Harper's blog

I’ve been the RSPB’s Conservation Director since May 2011. As I settle into the job, I’ll be blogging on all the big conservation topics and providing an inside view of our conservation projects. I hope you enjoy reading it and feel inspired to join in t

About me...

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As a first post, I thought an introduction to me, my interests and life before the RSPB might be helpful so here goes...

My passion for wildlife was stimulated in my teenage years, mainly thanks to my Mum (a biology teacher) who made me look at the world differently and being inspired by writers such as Paul Colinvaux. This early interest developed into biological research in my 20s, when I did practical conservation work in places such as the Comores and Mongolia.
Today, any free time I have I spend pottering around the flatlands of East Anglia or escaping to our hut on the Northumberland coast looking for wildlife and castles with my wife and children. 
I studied Biological Sciences at Oxford and Conservation at UCL, and worked at Wildlife and Countryside Link before spending five years as Conservation Director at Plantlife.
I joined the RSPB as Head of Government Affairs in 2004, became Head of Sustainable Development in 2006, before landing my dream job as Conservation Director in 2011.         

I start my new role on Tuesday and hope you take the time to come back to find out more about the early challenges I face then. It's going to be a busy few months but no doubt I'll have lots to share with you along the way!


  • I will expect to met you then. Dr Auld can give you my co-ordinates.

  • Thanks for the welcome everyone and for your provocative post, Sooty.  I will write about the farming challenge in due course.  Oh and Aberdeenshire Quine - I'll be in your neck of the woods in early summer...

  • Think I will give you food for thought Martin,there is always someone at RSPB to say something controversial about farming,how about this from I think a regular F I M person XX who says talking about farming,RSPB a major land owner,well they maybe but definitely not major farmers,he says there are 25,000 livestock on RSPB land well that is a miniscule number and I bet hardly any owned by RSPB,he continues to go on about making farmers keep field margins,well I  hope you sort that one out because they are almost barren wastelands with hardly anything on them when you should be pushing for farmers to get these grants for a acre or two in say each parish of wild bird food mixture sown.

    Welcome but with people like this you are going to have a very hard job.    

  • Hi Martin, many congratulations on your new post. A worthy successor to Mark if I may say so. I thought from the Stepping up for Nature reception back in March you must be a front runner for the job.

    Good luck, in it.

    Redkite, (the guy that gave you some contractor selection advice on the Severn Barrage study work)  

  • Hi, Martin. Good Luck.

    You need to come to Scotland more. Look forward to seeing you here.

  • Hi Martin,hope you enjoy your time as conservation officer and also doing the blog.

  • Hi Martin,

    may I be the first to welcome you to the blogosphere and look forward to reading your gems. Mark will be a hard act to follow (not that he's stopping writing of course, just not with an RSPB tie on) but I'm sure you'll be up to the challenge. Good luck for tuesday!