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.
I like quizzes.
And so, to help you reflect on the year just gone, here's a quiz based on the most viewed posts on this blog in 2013.
I'll try post the results some time after midnight on New Year's Day. For now, gather your family around, sit down with a drink, make yourselves comfortable and see if you can remember the highs and lows of conservation in 2013...
Question 1: Who or what controversially gave two but rejected one?
Question 2: Who went feral this year and encouraged all of us to do the same?
Question 3: Which woman replaced another woman at the top of a Royal Society?
Question 4: Who said about who that it "had been infiltrated by more militant entryists than Derek-Hatton-era Liverpool city council"?
Question 5: Who described what as "a modern day Domesday Book"?
Question 6: Who moved the goalposts? And a bonus point if you can remember why.
Question 7: Who topped the birding chart in January this year?
Question 8: Who said about what techology that "we cannot afford to miss out"?
Question 9: Who failed to go for "the maximum" and why?
Question 10: What has delayed houses being built at a Ministry of Defence site in Kent?