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 becoming Conservation Director in 2011.
Just my luck. The rain has come and the wind has picked up. This afternoon (after watching the boy perform as a clown in the school show), I am off up north to our hut on the Northumberland Coast for the long weekend. I had planned to take the kids on a seabird trip out to Coquet Island or the Farne Islands (pictured in sunnier times) but I think the boats are unlikely to go out in this weather.
But, if you are stranded indoors this weekend and you are still in need of a wildlife fix, there is some good news. Springwatch is back on the telly on Monday night. And this year it is coming from one of RSPB's nature reserves - Ynys Hir. It's a fantastic site - a mix of Welsh oak woodland with wet grassland and saltmarshes. I think armchair naturalists are in for a real treat.
A week or so ago, the prospect of Springwatch at the end of May seemed a little odd - we appeared to be entering mid-summer. But, now that the dark clouds have finally arrived, we can sit back, relax and hopefully enjoy nature being amazing from the comfort of our living rooms.
BBC Springwatch is on Monday at 8pm, BBC2. Follow our Ynys-hir blog for behind-the-scenes news from the reserve.