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.
The Prime Minister has promised to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty by the end of next month. This action will signal the beginning of the end of our membership of the European Union - with March 2019 becoming the deadline for the completion of negotiations.
So it is time for the UK Government to demonstrate it understands the jeopardy and opportunity that Brexit poses to the environment and that it has a comprehensive coping strategy. We have seen major statements on this agenda from the Environmental Audit and House of Lords Committees, the Welsh and Scottish governments and Caroline Lucas MP. Yet, it is 21 months since the Conservative Party was elected with a manifesto promise to restore biodiversity in 25 years and we still await the publication of the plan designed to meet this commitment.
For the millions of people that care about the parlous state of nature in the UK and believe that environmental standards must be maintained and bolstered, a statement from the government about its environmental plans is long overdue.
Following last summer's referendum, we joined forces with 12 other organisations to form Greener UK and today we have published our manifesto outlining a vision for our islands and eight steps (including calls for a new Environment Act, sustained international leadership on climate change and action to ensure future policies for fisheries and farming improve the farmed and marine environments) that we believe need to be taken to create a Greener UK.
We are taking our arguments to Westminster and there are now more than 200 MPs signed up to an environment pledge so we need these and other politicians across the UK to use their voices for nature in the Brexit debates. And, we need the UK Government to listen to our concerns and take action.
You can read our manifesto here.