Les shares his love for his family, Aston Villa and birdwatching
Is there such a thing as a typical day for you? If so, what's it like?
My typical day is spent on the road visiting my recruiters, attending events, planning my weeks, screening CVs and interviewing, with many hours a day being spent in the car on the phone (on Bluetooth I may add).
How did you end up doing what you do?
I have always been a passionate conservationist/bird-watcher from a very young age. I spent 13 years of my career in the car industry, as an account executive/auctioneer. However, I never felt settled within myself and so looked to find work within conservation. My first role was for the RSPB, and I have also worked for Woodland Trust and Wildlife Trust followed by the GWCT. Reading case studies is something I do day to day, so when the opportunity came up to work here, I felt I could help bring in vital funds to support the great work our scientists do throughout the year and beyond.
What motivates you?
People and new members. I love spending time with people helping wherever I can and the buzz of attaining new members. I find myself at events and talking to people daily. I am always looking at ways I can improve as an individual, so I read a lot and try to challenge myself constantly to hopefully be a better man to all those I am in contact with.
What’s the one thing that can make the difference between a good day and a bad one?
For me, keeping the right attitude despite whether it’s a good day or bad day. I try not to worry about anything out of my control and enjoy everyday for what it is.
Where’s the most interesting place you’ve been?
My trip to Borneo in my early 20s was a great experience, seeing how the local community came together to protect one of the few strongholds left of Orangutans in the wild.
How do you relax?
The one place I feel happy and relaxed is birdwatching and enjoying the natural world, whether that’s at the coast, or walking locally on the Malvern Hills, taking in the sights, and watching the birds flying by. Also, watching my team Aston villa play when I can, I have been supporting them for over 30 years through the good and the bad, but love the atmosphere and the relationships I’ve made over the years.
Which living person do you most admire and why?
I would have to say my mother-in-law as she has been so inspirational to me, having come from Northern Ireland and lived through very difficult circumstances, but has a great work ethic, so wise and worked hard learning all through her life, and is now a lecturer at a theological college, battled cancer and through the whole experience stayed strong, and is a role model to all those around her.
What is your most treasured possession?
I would have to say my binoculars and spotting scope, they are never too far away from my side, just in case a rarity is nearby. Not sure you can count your children as possessions, but they mean the world to me, which is why I invest hugely into their lives so they can be as well-rounded individuals as possible.
What keeps you awake at night?
Probably my family, thinking of ideas we can do to utilise our time together, also my to-do list, thinking of how I can be more effective every day.
What’s the best part of your week?
I always look forward to my golf competitions at the weekend, shouting on the boys from the Holte end at Villa Park, spending time with my family, walking through Queenswood in Herefordshire and testing my kids on species we find.