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‘I have spent my life trying to balance my love of wildlife cultivation and the outdoors, with the need to achieve the usual wordly goals – all the time knowing that harmony naturally arises when one is true to oneself’.

Wildlife cultivation

Mark cares passionately about wildlife cultivation. He manages the Valley View site to optimise its animal, bird and insect life. At the same time he is using his skills to create a haven where Yogandspice guests can truly enjoy the natural elements. While ensuring that they will be warm and comfortable too.

Caring for the environment

Mark has juggled a number of successful careers in horticulture, environmental enhancement and outdoor pursuits. He left school at 15 and worked in a garden centre. The he started his own nursery where he produced two million bedding plants a year. In a complete contrast, Mark next spent time in inner city areas improving the environment with non-toxic and easily biodegradable products. This led to an  an education programme for council workers, adults and young children. His work in these areas increased his awareness of the need for wildlife cultivation in what is left of the British countryside.

Mountain leader

Challenged at school by severe dyslexia, Mark has volunteered mainly with young people to build self-esteem. He worked for the Scout Association, the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme and the Youth Service.  Drawn to the hills, he was a member of Teesdale Mountain Rescue for six years.  During this period he qualified as a Mountain Leader and a Single Pitch Climbing instructor.  In 2012 Mark travelled to Westminster to receive the top award for adult education achievement against adversity.

While my dyslexia was a major challenge in my early years it ultimately equipped me to help others and to problem solve. I know what it feels like to see the world differently. And it has taught me that every set back is also an opportunity’.

When life took an unexpected turn four years ago, Mark grasped the opportunity to search for the answers that had eluded him for some time. The community at the Buddhist Centre in Darlington put him on a path that he continues to follow.