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.
Here's a petition that's worth signing.
You may have heard - or maybe you haven't - of the BBC Wildlife Fund. The purpose of the Fund is, according to the Beeb, "To raise awareness and funds to save threatened wildlife and places. The fund offers the unique opportunity to capitalise on the creative skills of the BBC enabling wider audiences to engage in the plight of wildlife." Unfortunately it seems that this Fund will now be shut down.
You may remember the Wild Night In programme that aired just after Springwatch last year - a whole evening of programming that showcased some of the projects that the fund has previously supported. On that night alone, £1.2 million was raised.
The RSPB has benefitted from the fund in the past. Our work with albatrosses received really generous support, and we have also had funding for a number of UK regional projects, including our work with cirl buntings in the South West.
And anyway, even if we hadn't been a beneficiary of the fund, I'd still think it's a really good thing. BBC programmes have inspired many people to take an interest in the natural world, and using their work to generate much-needed funding for conservation work is a logical step.
At a time when there the UK Government has, through its Natural Environment White Paper, pledged to restore biodiversity, but when is not a lot of money around, it feels a bit perverse of the BBC to pull the plug on another pot of much needed funds.
So. let's all get behind the campaign to prevent the fund from closing. You can sign the online petition here.
Martin, where are you? We need your blog
i support keeping the bbc wildlife fund to keep up all the good work it has done in the past and will do in the future