Richard is the chair of Wessex Water's Catchment Panel which scrutinises the company's environmental performance. From 2000-2014 he was the director of the Environment Agency for the South West of England. A Zoology graduate from Imperial College, London, with a research doctorate in Applied Hydrobiology from University of Wales, Cardiff, he had an early career with Thames, Yorkshire and Welsh Water authorities. He became the National Rivers Authority's area manager for Northumbria in 1993, and regional general manager for Northumbria and Yorkshire in 1995. He is currently chair of the Bristol Avon Catchment Partnership, a trustee of Regen South West, and Chair of Homemaker South West (preventing homelessness and promoting independence). Richard received an MBE in July 2000 for services to the environment.