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I first visited Lower Sharpham Farm back in June 2022. I had been accepted onto the 12 Week Nature Conservation Traineeship offered by Ambios and was lucky enough to be able to attend through one of their bursary placements. Coming from inner city Leeds with no professional experience of the outdoors, this traineeship was truly invaluable to me. I, along with many other brilliant trainees, spent long summer days out in the beautiful Devon hills, learning about botany, working in the kitchen garden, learning about bird identification, completing wildlife surveys, trying out woodwork, learning presentation skills and more. The team at Ambios provided so much support and guidance during the traineeship and were always on hand with helpful advice or words of wisdom. Overall, the whole experience gave me the valuable skills and knowledge I needed to pursue a career in the natural world.

After completing my training, I left the farm in September 2022 and by November I was offered a job working with Age UK Cheshire as their Green Connections Coordinator, a completely new role for the charity. I currently work with the public in Crewe, visiting the homes of older people referred to the project by local social prescribers and offering a free of charge gardening service. I offer general garden tidy ups, which include weeding, hedge trimming and general light garden work, all with a big emphasis on wildlife and biodiversity. Through my role I am able to encourage people to connect with nature through wildlife friendly activities such as putting up bird boxes, making mini ponds, creating herb gardens and planting wildflower meadows. I love my job as it gets me out into the community and connected with nature. I truly believe that my time with Ambios really helped me to secure the role through the knowledge, experience and skills I was taught whilst on my traineeship.

✍ Bethany Caley – Ambios Alumni (Summer 2022)


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