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'm in the midst of a very busy few days. Today I'm visiting Langholm Moor in Dumfries to see some of the work we do with our partners there. And then I'm heading down to our reserve at Bempton in Yorkshire to do some filming with the BBC. I'll tell you more about all of this soon. As far as the BBC filming is concerned, all I'll say is that I'm following in some very glamorous footsteps....
And it follows an equally hectic week last week. Amongst the blogs about our efforts to save EU wildlife funding from the axe, I may have missed some of the other RSPB stories that were in the news.
If you read my blog last week, you'll know that RSPB scientists have embarked on an epic trip to Henderson Island to destroy the rodent population that threatens the grey-brown Henderson petrel. I was pleased to see that this "voyage of conservation" received widespread coverage, including pieces in The Indpendent, Daily Mail and on Radio 2 and Radio 4. This is a bird that nests only on the remote UK Overseas Territory, and which is already sliding towards extinction, so this trip is vitally important for the wildlife on the island.
Another great piece of work by our scientists that was trumpeted this week was efforts by a team braving inclement Russian weather to collect a clutch of spoon-billed sandpiper eggs in an emergency bid to save the bird from extinction. Efforts by the RSPB, the WWT and Birds Russia were highlighted in the Daily Telegraph and Virgin News.
Our conservationists have been busy a bit closer to home too, and this week saw the arrival of a new batch of sea eagle chicks at Edinburgh airport. The eaglets will be raised at a secret location, as part of ongoing efforts to reintroduce them across Scotland by the RSPB and our partners, SNH and FCS. This story was used nationally on the BBC website and in The Times, Daily Telegraph and many Scottish media outlets.
So, after a very frantic June, July looks like being just as busy. And that's just the way I like it!