Nigel, born at Rackenford, is from a long-standing Devon farming family and can date his family's roots in the county back to 1532 at Iddesleigh. His family went on to build ‘Nethercott House’ at Iddesleigh, which is now owned by the charity ‘Farm for City Children’, founded by Michael Morpogo the author and former Children’s Laureate. His family also once owned and lived at North Wyke Manor, South Tawton, an agricultural research institute. His family currently farm at Washfield, Mid Devon.
Having spent 31 years in the police service, 24 of which was spent in the Avon and Somerset Constabulary, he retired in 2007 as the Chief Constable (acting) of the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary. On his retirement from the police service he became a director of Courtenay Associates Ltd and spent 4 years working in London before finally retiring in 2011.
Nigel has extensive experience of the voluntary and public sector, he was a Governor at Saltford Primary School near Bath, a trustee of The Gurney Fund and a director of Connexions Cornwall and Devon. He is a graduate of Common Purpose and has been involved in The Prince’s Trust and Business in The Community.
He is currently a member of the North and East Devon Advisory Committee (appointing magistrates in Devon), an advisor to the Department of Health, a Governor at Blundell's School and trustee of the Plymouth Drake Foundation. He is also a trustee of the Devon Community Foundation and chair of their Resources and Management Committee.
In 2010 Nigel and his wife Julie created ‘The Arnold Family Fund’, an endowed charitable fund to support rural and isolated communities in Devon, managed by the Devon Community Foundation. Nigel and Julie have 4 grown-up children and live in East Devon. In his spare time he enjoys cooking, walking, gardening and genealogy.