Michael Allen is Chairman of The Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts. A life-long birdwatcher and general naturalist, he was professionally a university administrator and teacher in the University of Cambridge. He has led natural history and wildlife tours in many parts of the United Kingdom as well as in Europe and Africa, and travelled in the North America, often in pursuit of wild places. In retirement he has spent much of his time on regional matters in the East of England, where he has served on committees of the National Trust, the Forestry Commission and the Heritage Lottery Fund. He was successively Hon Treasurer and Hon Secretary of the British Trust for Ornithology and a founder member of the Bristol Ornithological Club and the Wicken Fen bird ringing group.