I grew up in Birmingham, but city life did nothing to stop me being a mad keen naturalist from the off, and that fascination with the overlapping of urban and natural worlds has never left! I learned the practical business of managing places for wildlife by working on wonderful RSPB and Wildlife Trust reserves around England and Wales for a decade before moving to the Isle of Wight in 1993. I was first part of the local authority countryside team, then managed the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Partnership. The curious mix of agri-environment, community development, public art and landscape ecology that emerged from the AONB led me to set up the Island 2000 Trust and its consulting arm, merging later with the Island’s economic partnership. In 2014, a group of us set up the consultancy Arc and the eco-design company Artecology, covering everything from place-based regeneration to protoyping the built environments of the future, always with the natural world, and its unbreakable connection to the human life and wellbeing at its core. I’m still here on the lovely Isle of Wight, now one of UNESCO’s newest World Biosphere Reserves, an extraordinary achievement that I was very proud to play a part in securing. I now work with my amazing friends and colleagues to develop new and better ways to design and manage towns, cities and infrastructure, creating resilient urban ecosystems where biodiversity, including our mid-sized social mammal selves, can thrive.