8-week Practical Countryside Skills Traineeship

Practical Countryside Skills Traineeship

Kick start a career with nature, develop practical skills and gain insights into the natural world as you gain the experience you need to progress towards your dream job in the conservation sector.

Ambios is actively farming 130 acres of stunning countryside in the River Dart valley. Part of the farm – 50 acres of historic 18th Century parkland – is being rewilded, creating a rich and fertile natural environment for learning.  You’ll gain confidence in interpreting and working the countryside, plus all the key practical skills that employers need. 

We invite you to spend 8 weeks of winter with us on the farm.  Join our immersive residential traineeship, and gain core land management experience that will leave you with transferable skills for life.

Key Facts

Lower Sharpham Farm, Ashprington, Totnes. TQ9 7DX.

Our practical winter traineeship runs for 8 weeks through January and February – key months for land management practice.

Ambios are a team of professional scientists, land managers and nature conservation educators with a 30 year track record. We have a range of skills that will support your placement, train you and enhance your learning experience by working alongside you to run the project and share our knowledge. 

Winter 2024: Dates TBC

Our Practical Countryside Skills Traineeship Nature Ranger course is perfect for:

  • Anyone needing practical countryside management skills to kick start their career
  • A recent graduate or career changer looking for experience of the reality of being outside in winter and gain better understanding of the conservation sector
  • Someone considering taking on land or a smallholding of their own, looking to improve their self sufficiency
  • Landowners
  •  looking to upskill and gain key land management experience 
  • Anyone seeking to gain confidence outdoors spending time to reflect and renew, in the company of like-minded others

We operate an open recruitment policy and welcome applications from all. 

Course content

This experiential traineeship is rich in skills transfer and practical learning.  

Here among the stunning Sharpham Estate and right across the South Devon landscape, you’ll discover a rare chance to gain hands-on countryside, nature conservation and general land management experience.  

You’ll be joining an inspiring team of people who are taking practical steps to improve a valuable natural environment and creating a positive social effect.  

During your 8 weeks with us, you’ll gain a huge range of knowledge, skills, competence and experience including:

  • Rewilding
  • Targeted conservation farm management involving handling livestock 
  • Woodland management and habitat restoration
  • Horticulture/food growing including permaculture practices
  • Confident species identification
  • Competent hands on habitat management (tree planting, fencing etc)
  • Countryside management techniques including hedge laying, chainsaw use
  • Self sufficiency including food preservation and cost saving healthy lifestyle choices

On finishing, you’ll gain a completion certificate and we’ll work with you to find ways to use the skills and knowledge you’ve developed to support you long into your future.

The practical benefits are undeniable but through their time here, many people also report a sense of renewal, inspiration, hope, confidence and direction amid what can seem like an uncertain future.

The residential experience

An important part of Ambios residential training is the community we forge together.  You will be living and working alongside our 12-week nature conservation trainees, staff, and volunteers.

The residential aspect of our course is integral to the experience you’ll gain.  Through their time with us, many past trainees have reported a sense of renewal, inspiration, hope and confidence.  Working with Ambios is more than an education – this extended period away from day-to-day life allows clarity of mind and trainees often find a new confidence in their direction.

The farm lends itself well to providing both privacy – through individual rooms and 130 acres of countryside – and community.  The first week is dedicated to activities which help foster a sense of teamwork and rotas are established early on to divide up tasks and provide opportunities to get to know people better.

You’ll be staying in our Bunkhouse, which has 12 single bedrooms, three bathrooms and enjoying use of our new dayroom which has a shared kitchen with a large, comfortable living area and woodburner.  It’s part of our working farm, and sits among the trees with spectacular views to the River Dart and idyllic surrounding countryside.

Meals are prepared communally with all ingredients provided, using local, organic produce where possible, some directly from the farm.  Free wifi is available within the training spaces.

You’ll be living with a motivated and enthusiastic small team of volunteers who help with the running of the farm and who also have personal experience and skills to share.

How to apply

We look forward to receiving your application for our next Practical Countryside Skills Traineeship.  Please note there is only one course per year, these practical skills are best taught in the winter.  If this year’s course is closed, you can request to be on the waiting list for next year.

If you’re ready to go now, follow the four steps below.  If you have further questions, try reading our FAQ page or email us with any concerns.

  1. Please complete this application form
  2. Email farm@ambios.net to let us know you have applied
  3. We will get in touch to schedule an informal phone call
  4. If we feel the course is a good fit for you, we’ll offer you a place and you then secure your place by paying a £150 non-refundable deposit.

Fees and making payment

The cost of the course is currently £2750 (minus the £150 non-refundable deposit). This is a full-board, residential training course, inclusive of accommodation, food, training, and field trips.

Payment is taken in 3 instalments:

  • A pre-placement PayPal deposit payment of £150 to secure your place on the course (non-refundable)
  • A pre-placement payment of £1300 invoiced 6 weeks prior to the course start date *
  • A second payment of £1300 invoiced 6 weeks into the course

*Total remaining balance can be paid in full if preferred

Find our Cancellation Policy here

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