Farming for wildlife

Our Farms

We manage Lower Sharpham Farm, an 80-acre organic beef and sheep farm on the Sharpham Estate, with an integrated approach balancing the restoration of natural habitat with agriculture, while developing a valuable training and community resource.

We took on Home Farm, an additional 60 acres of farmland, in April 2020 in order to rewild it and to expand our training resource. This new and exciting direction of land management aims to restore biodiversity within the Dart Valley, giving nature the opportunity to recover from the effects of modern farming.

Lower Sharpham Farm

Watch our video to experience a bit of life on the farm.

The 12 week nature conservation traineeship, short courses and nature conservation volunteering opportunities are based at the farm. Our learning environment is a rich mosaic of habitats, in which we can put the best conservation training into practice. The farm is dominated by species-rich pasture, with low grazing pressure.

We are part of the Natural England ‘Higher Level Stewardship’ Scheme and are registered organic by the Soil Association . We raise organic produce including lamb, beef and eggs for sale, and make a number of wildlife products, most of which can be bought in our online shop. We also run a biodiversity monitoring programme to understand the improvement in habitats. Using skills we practice on the farm we undertake countryside service contracts within the local area.

Our farm management plan explains our approach to farming, and how we aim to achieve the balance between learning, biodiversity and economy through our farming practice. Our farm management plan is available here.

Widening participation in nature conservation

We work in partnership with Robert Owen Communities (ROC), a local charity to provide work experience for adults with learning disabilities. These work experiences have a nature conservation theme running throughout and Ambios trainees and the ROC gang often team up to tackle projects together. These projects are delivered in any one of the different work areas of the farm;

  • Horticulture; growing nectar rich plants for sale and food for the residents
  • Woodwork; producing bat and bird boxes for sale and habitat creation on the farm
  • Conservation; a countryside team carrying out wildife projects around the farm including capturing and sharing wildlife stories and creating wildlife habitats
  • Animal care; fulfilling our environmental aims for the land as well as caring for our animals; livestock grazing, animal husbandry
  • Forestry; woodland management and producing firewood for the many woodburners on the farm

Venue Facilities and Eco-accommodation

We have excellent venue facilities to provide fantastic learning opportunities and comfortable eco-accommodation for a range of events. The Linhay provides a space for indoor learning and discussion and eco-accommodation is provided in either the Bunkhouse or the Yurt.  Our new study block provides dedicated work desks and laboratory space in the heart of the farm.