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.
Why we march
There is a letter in the Times today signed by 49 leaders of development, faith and environment groups (including Mike Clarke of the RSPB). It explains why tens of thousands of people will be marching tomorrow. This is what it says...
This weekend, thousands of people will march in London and in cities around the world, calling for action to tackle climate change. At the talks in Paris, our leaders must confront the ecological destruction, poverty and injustice that climate pollution carries in its wake, and act before it is too late.
Sadly due to tragic events including in Paris, Beirut, Baghdad and Bamako, the Climate March in Paris has been cancelled, though many of us will still join with Parisians for other events across the city.
As a wide range of development, environment, faith and other organisations, we believe that hope lies in acting together to address the shared problems faced by humanity.
Thousands of citizens of all ages, races and religions, will be taking to the streets. No violence, no hatred will shake our determination, or undermine our trust in each other to make a better world."
If you love wildlife and are concerned by the impacts of climate change (brilliantly document by a Birdlife report - here - published yesterday), then please do think about taking part.
What we want
The outcome of the Paris negotiations will be an important moment to send the right signals to economies of the world that we are on the path to a zero carbon future to avoid dangerous climate change.
This is why we will be calling on world leaders to ensure that the Treaty delivers real ambition. Where Governments’ commitments fall short of what the planet needs (ie collective emission reduction targets which will avoid global temperature rises of no more than 2 degrees C above pre-industrial levels), we want to see mechanisms in place to enable ambition to be ratcheted up in the future.
The RSPB has attended the negotiations, working under the umbrella of BirdLife International, for many years. My colleagues have pushed hard for strong ambition from a global climate treaty. At the same time they have co-ordinated NGO efforts in ensuring strong wildlife protection measures are included in proposals to reduce deforestation emissions in developing countries, and in ensuring that all emissions are counted from forests and land in developed countries.
We are all too aware how political these negotiations will be. My colleagues have worked hard to ensure that there are good options in the negotiation text to protect wildlife and forests and their efforts will be focused on ensuring that these are not traded away as pawns in the bigger political game.
There is everything to play for and I look forward to keeping you updated with news from the front line in this important process.
In the meantime, I hope to see you in London at midday tomorrow.
Great, we really need organizations like RSPB to lead on things like this. And the Lead campaign.