Richard first became more widely known on the Hertfordshire natural history scene in the early 1990s, after his retirement from a senior management role in British Rail. He was initially involved with local wildlife groups around his home town of Stevenage, but rapidly got involved more broadly with especially the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust. He was appointed Chairman in 1995 a critical time in the wildlife conservation movement in Hertfordshire.
Richard led the Trust for the next 14 years, finally standing down as Chairman (but remaining a Vice-President) in October 2009. During that time, membership grew strongly and the Trust expanded its activities, gaining both financial support and recognition from a wide range of bodies. Much of this success, alongside the direction of Judy Adams during this same period, was down to Richard’s leadership. Hertfordshire therefore has a legacy of some outstanding nature reserves to its credit, such as Kings Meads, Waterford Heath, Amwell Quarry, Rye Meads, and perhaps especially the eponymous Balls Wood, which was finally secured by the Trust in 2009.
Richard has worked to encourage young people, believing that inspiring people is a cornerstone of wildlife conservation. He has also served as Trustee for the RSPB and UK Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts, and campaigned for wildlife causes.