Traineeship/ Wild for People


Would you like to feel inspired and confident enough to improve the future of nature? Would you like to be part of a pioneering rewilding project – an exciting land management approach for wildlife that is relevant across the world? We are delighted to announce UK opportunities for our award-winning international 12 week nature conservation training course, based in South Devon. This course is suitable for anyone with an interest in nature. You will develop the practical skills and understanding to enhance your career prospects and protect our wildlife and biodiversity, helping to create a wilder future.

Each industry/sector/ job has a role to play in knowing about and making informed decisions with regards to our natural world. Whether you are aiming to be the next Director of a wildlife NGO or the Environment Minister; a teacher, support worker, countryside ranger; researcher; inspired artist; tree surgeon, biologist, consultant or historic site manager this immersive learning experience will set you on your way.

There are eight places available for each cohort ( 3 cohorts per year – Spring, Summer and Autumn). Trainees will be from the UK and abroad. The fully funded places available for UK residents are funded The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

2020 traineeship dates:

  • Spring: 31st March – 19th June.  2 FULLY FUNDED PLACES available for UK residents
  • Summer: 30th June – 18th September. 1 FULLY FUNDED PLACE available for UK residents
  • Autumn: 29th September – 18th December. 1 FULLY FUNDED PLACE available for UK residents

Training benefits

  • Gain a thorough insight into the UK nature conservation sector
  • Direct experience of a pioneering rewilding project
  • Increase knowledge, understanding and confidence in; species identification, survey techniques, practical conservation skills, public engagement, conservation management planning, and the use of technology in nature conservation.
  • Receive recognition for short courses, including GIS & GPS biodiversity mapping, Bird ID, Camera Trapping and more…
  • Train and live with like-minded people in a beautiful South Devon setting
  • Develop employability skills – communication, collaboration, partnership working, report writing and presentation delivery.
  • Gain access to our network within the nature conservation sector
  • Be part of a widening participation agenda, working with adults with learning difficulties

Course Content

The exact content of this 12-week training course can vary depending on the season, however we aim to provide a solid introduction to the UK conservation sector to boost your subject knowledge and employment prospects. The course includes field trips to local conservation sites; biodiversity assessments, including practical skills in wildlife survey; techniques for the management of rural landscapes; and employability skills. Alongside the practical work, trainees will also complete an applied research project focused on rewilding.  Data from a project can contribute to your degree modules. You’ll also get access to our rich network which will be invaluable as you start and continue your career in the nature conservation sector.

Read more about our 12-week Nature Conservation Course and the full course content which includes our wildlife survey and survey skills curriculum.

Take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions page to find more details about how you will spend your time during the traineeship.

Who is the training for?

Our experiences suggest that graduates looking for crucial experience, career changers who are looking for a way into working in the nature conservation sector or those who are inspired by the natural world and want to broaden their horizons benefit from these training placements; whether you are aiming to be the next Director of a wildlife NGO or the Environment Minister; a teacher, support worker, countryside ranger or researcher; tree surgeon, biologist, consultant or historic site manager this experience will set you on your way.


“Things I’ve learnt here and the people I’ve met have really changed how I see things”

“It was the best 3 months of my life”

“With this placement I feel I have practical knowledge and experience which is not just a piece of paper and will help me achieve my goals”

“This traineeship was even better than I could imagine, so I only can recommend it”

“I gained a lifelong experience and lasting knowledge about the scientific part and the personal side of life too.”

“The experience will help me in my future work”

“An experience for a lifetime”

Who is delivering the work-based training?

Ambios are a friendly team of professional scientists and nature conservation educators with a track record dating back to the 1980s. Ambios itself is over 18 years old.  We have extensive experience of working alongside volunteers and trainees and sharing knowledge and enthusiasm for conservation and the farm itself.

You will also spend some of your time working with The Sharpham Trust network to deliver education and engagement events.

Our range of skills will support you on this course, train you and enable shared learning experiences. You will spend most of your time at the farm with timetabled days for specific field trips in Devon.

Live and Work

Whilst training at Lower Sharpham Farm you will live with an international team of motivated fellow trainees all of whom will share a keen interest in nature and wildlife, have a good level of English language skills and have personal experiences and skills to share. You will be based in the bunkhouse where you will share your living space and eat food from the local area, creating an absorbing placement where your time will be full.


Our ‘bunkhouse’ has 8 single bedrooms with 2 toilet/shower rooms and a kitchen with a large comfortable lounge and wood stove.  This accommodation is part of our working farm, managed for biodiversity and learning.  It is comfortable and sits amongst the trees, hedgerows and spectacular views of the River Dart and is surrounded by idyllic countryside.  This is a secure and tranquil place for relaxing between learning sessions. All meals are made from local produce (direct from our farm where possible) with special dietary requirements catered for on request. We have a Yurt and an open plan office (with free Wi-Fi) which we use as training spaces.


The cost of this 12 week immersive, residential training course is £3300. This is inclusive of food, accommodation, training and field trips.

Payments are taken in three stages: pre-placement deposit, mid-placement and on completion.


Funding and placements

Thanks to the National Lottery Heritage Fund, we can offer a number of fully funded training placements to UK residents in 2020 as part of Sharpham Trust’s Wild For People project.

The Sharpham Trust have been awarded £177,400 to make more space for wildlife and take action for nature. The 3 year Wild For People project will enhance the biodiversity of the Sharpham Estate, stretching along the River Dart outside Totnes, South Devon. Ambios are a delivery partner in this project and we are running the training and volunteering opportunities.

We are delighted to offer:

  • 2 funded placements for the Spring cohort
  • 1 funded placement for the Summer cohort
  • 1 funded placement for the Autumn cohort

*The bursary placements are eligible to those in financial hardship (eg unemployed, in receipt of benefits, low wage etc). If met, we will then be selecting trainees based on merit. If you would like to be considered for the fully funded placement please explain why you are applying for financial hardship bursary in your application.

How to apply

The 2020 applications are now open.

1.) Please complete the application form and email to let him know you have applied.

2.) We will get in touch to schedule a skype chat.

3.) If we think we will be a good fit for your needs, we will offer you a place on our training programme. This will either be costed or fully funded, depending on whether you meet the *eligibility criteria.

Funded placements

We are currently advertising for 2 fully-funded training placements for the Spring traineeship (31st March – 19th June 2020). The closing date will be 12noon 21st February 2020.  Summer bursary applications will open in May. We are expecting a high number of applications for these placements. These will be allocated by merit and therefore we may only be able to offer you a place on a costed traineeship.