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As soon as I entered the lanes that led to Ambios farm and the grounds themselves, I was overwhelmed with excitement and anticipation of the weeks to come. It was like being transported to another world, one full of life round every corner and filled with colour; a far cry from Leeds where I’d come from. The view from the gardens over the river dart is particularly stunning, and a view I don’t think I’ll get bored of any time soon (image below)!

A view from the vegetable garden over Ambios farm and the river dart.

The first few days were filled with a flurry of information about the next 12 weeks, and a couple of very informative presentations about rewilding. It’s exciting to learn about the various projects we can involve ourselves in during the next months, and I can’t wait to do so! 

One of the highlights of my first week was meeting the various furry (and feathery) friends that call lower Sharpham farm home. These include lots of friendly sheep, belted Galloway cows (as seen in the image below), four Guinea pigs, and a particularly charming Indian runner duck known as Mark Tucker. 

Above: one of the belted Galloway cows kept at Ambios, as grazers to prevent vegetation succession in grassland habitat. 

The grounds of Ambios are filled with so much wildlife, and a few notable species mentioned to call this place home are bitterns and otters amongst the reed beds (below) barn owls hunting various small mammals over the fields, and even cirl buntings (a species reduced to only to coastal farmland in south Devon due to changes in agricultural methods). 

Above: reed beds in which a booming bittern has been heard. 

The community here really adds to the the learning process and I’ve learnt so much already from the people around Ambios- from things about fungi foraging, to how cider is made (below)! 

Above: Freshly pressed apple juice from the orchard at the farm 

Most importantly, the people here really do make you feel at home away from home, which is an important aspect of being able to fully immerse yourself in this hands on experience! I look forward to learning so much more about the processes of the natural world and how to conserve them, and doing so in such a beautiful environment. 

Above: Totnes, a 40 minute walk from Ambios farm, a hub of independent businesses and (so I’m reliably informed) lots of great pubs!


Anneke, Autumn 2022 trainee 

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