Born in 1964, I spent the first years of my life in the city centre of Bonn. Nevertheless, or perhaps because of that, I had already decided at the age of six to become a nature conservationist. I grew up in Sinzig am Rhein and later studied at the Fachhochschule für Forstwirtschaft in Rottenburg am Neckar. This was followed by two decades as a civil servant in the Rhineland-Palatinate State Forestry Administration. After a few years as office manager of a forestry office I was transferred to my dream area: The forests in two small Eifel communities became my professional home.