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Last modified: 26 April 2010
Image: The RSPB
Mike Clarke is the RSPB's new Chief Executive, taking over from Sir Graham Wynne who is stepping down after 23 years at the RSPB.
Below, Mike tells us a little about his life and career.
‘My love affair with nature started in childhood, and only grew stronger after spending my teenage years volunteering at many wonderful sites in my local area, including Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory, and for the Kent Wildlife Trust.
I became an RSPB member at 14, and like to think that I've passed my passion for conservation and the natural world onto my family, with teenagers of my own, now active in Phoenix (for teenage members of the RSPB) and RSPB campaigning.
This is a passion I've carried through my working life.
For over 20 years I've worked for the RSPB, beginning in 1988 when I became one of the RSPB's first Conservation Officers - a role I did for three years - to my most recent role as Director of Operations, running the RSPB's work throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Outside work, I run a taxi operation (for my daughters!) and chill out cooking passably good slow food with even slower wine and beer. I enjoy a wide range of music, and love getting out into nature when I can.
I was a Council Member of Southampton University and am proud to have been a Founding trustee of the North Bedfordshire Schools Trust – the largest formal schools federation in England.
The challenges faced by our natural world are huge, but thanks to the support of our members, the RSPB has a great track record of conservation success – our nature reserves and species recovery projects make a real difference to an amazing array of wildlife.
We also have a great track record of fighting to protect the best places for nature, and campaigning on policies that affect birds, wildlife and the environment, both in the UK and internationally.
I can't wait to get stuck into my new role, and look forward to leading an organisation full of dedicated staff and volunteers, and to being part of over 1 million RSPB members and supporters, who are as passionate about protecting our natural world as I am.'
If you feel passionately that we need to make decisions today that will safeguard nature into the future, then please sign the Letter to the Future and together we can make the world a richer place.
Sign the letter