Meet Johan Ingles-Le Nobel, a Dutch man living in the tiny village of Holmbury St Mary. Having spent time as a child catching newts and sticklebacks with a little fishing net, today, Johan spends time with nature by looking after his garden, a garden that was awarded Surrey Wildlife Trust’s Large Wildlife Garden of the Year 2020. As well as being a parish councillor, Johan is also a trustee of the wildlife gardening forum well worth a visit if you want to improve your garden for wildlife.
Whilst admitting that his wife is the head gardener, Johan makes a real mark on the garden himself, creating aspects that will encourage wildlife in the garden to thrive, including a duck house, 62 nest boxes, and converting the pool into a koi sanctuary.
“The benefit of spending time with nature is really about refreshing your soul. We have a very hectic modern lifestyle, we have jobs, we have financial pressure, there’s Covid pressure, there’s all sorts of things that pressure us in our life and there’s a strange sort of therapy that comes from being in a green space, being in a tranquil space. Just letting your eyes stretch, letting your mind float. It opens up your mind in a way that very other few things can, it gives you that inner sense of peace, that connection to the land. It gives you that mental space away from modern day-to-day living that makes the mind whole, that keeps your head together.”