Congratulations Chris, the award of the CBE in the New Year’s Honours List is well deserved. The conservation of our natural environment has always had a place in the public’s heart and yet the protection that it requires has for too long been seen as a ‘Cinderella’ service by successive Governments. Decades of avoidable decline have left many species and habitats vulnerable to minor changes that could have a major, negative impact. This is not a prediction, we are already witnessing potentially catastrophic changes occurring all around us. Fortunately if the correct remedial policies are implemented the situation can be reversed. Now they have a champion recognised both publicly and politically for years of effort, speaking out on behalf of our natural heritage.