I was born in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, near to the Chilterns AONB. Being outside always played a part in my childhood and, like many children, I wanted to be a vet. As a teenager I started to work out what species we had visiting the garden, it made me relise just how important gardens are for wildlife, and for engaging people with nature. This eventually led me to help set up the garden BioBlitz where people come together over a weekend to take account of the species in their gardens. To this day, I still record species in my garden and have recorded over 600 species there.
While at university my love for monitoring wildlife really look off, and I knew that this was the career I wanted to develop rather than becoming a vet. More specifically, I knew I wanted to work in wildlife conservation in Britain. Abroad they may have large charismatic megafauna, but for me we had equally important and amazing species right on our doorstep, which need protecting.
I worked for a time on protected species conservation (through the planning process) but this was not for me. My real interests lay in the small things that arguably rule the planet; specifically plants, bryophytes and invertebrates. I get a great deal of satisfaction learning about species through the process of identifying them and recording where they are found. I therefore applied to do an internship with Natural England and Buglife studying beetles. I spent a year showing that Blenheim Palace was internationally important for its dead wood beetles.