Rewilding Research Experience


Ecology of Badgers, Bees, Bats or Birds. This training package is designed to fit with the University of Exeter 15 Credit Workplace Learning module. 

Dates: 17 June – 1 July or 9 September – 23 September

This two-week nature experience will provide you with the foundation skills required for a career in nature conservation along. It will also enable you to complete the 15 Credit Workplace Learning module while gaining practical skills in wildlife survey and land management techniques and contributing to our Rewildling farming decisions. You will be based at Lower Sharpham Farm on the stunning Sharpham Estate and experience visits to other parts of the South Devon landscape, understanding better the unique habitats and conservation pressures facing our native flora and fauna.

Training, Living and Working

Together we will create your individual learning journey for your time with us which will be supported by our team and brings a growth mindset and solution focused approach. Specific training in key areas of activity will be provided, e.g. data collection and analysis, presentation skills and reflective journal writing.  You will assist with biodiversity management practical work and focus on one of our applied Rewilding research projects. You will get involved with one of the following projects: Badger (Meles meles) population/TB vaccination deployment, Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) longevity, spatial and temporal use of the farm by bat populations, bird survey data recording and analysis OR using trail cameras for public engagement. Which project you engage with depends on your interests and the timing of ongoing project activities. You will live with a team of motivated fellow trainees, long term volunteers and staff all with a keen interest in nature and wildlife, with personal experiences and skills to share. If you take the residential option You will have your own space in our cabin bunkhouse, as well as sharing communal living and training with students from UK and abroad.


On completing the experience you will have:

* Given presentations explaining the work of Ambios and your applied research project

* Completed an on-going review and reflect illustrated journal / blog (1500 words)

* Achieved the Intended Learning Outcomes of the 15 Credit Workplace Learning Module


“A friendly and inclusive learning environment which was well paced, informative and highly rewarding! The care each of the Ambios team members showed towards us both during the course and after has been incredible. A fantastic experience that has helped me develop new skills and I couldn’t be happier with the course”

Who is delivering the training?

Simon Roper has worked in nature conservation and ecological consultancy for three decades starting with Devon Wildlife Trust, the Barn Owl Trust and the Royal Society of Wildlife Trust. He co-founded Ambios in 2001 with Dr Clive Betts who is a life-long entomologist and tutor/coach (at the University of Exeter). Fraser Rush is an ecological consultant and naturalist with many years of experience in nature reserve management and public engagement with wildlife. Jack Skuse has been living and working at Sharpham for his professional life; hosting trainees, supporting biodiversity research projects and now bringing up his young family.


Our ‘lodge’ has 8 single bedrooms with 2 toilet/shower rooms and a kitchen with a large comfortable lounge and woodstove. The 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 provided from local produce (direct from our farm where possible) with special dietary requirements catered for on request. We also have a Yurt and an open plan office which we use as training spaces where free Wi-Fi is available.

How To Join Us

We can collect you from Totnes Railway Station (4 miles from the farm) at 16.00 on the day of arrival and return you to the station on the final day. Alternatively, you can make your own way from the station or direct by car to TQ9 7DX to arrive by 16.30.

There are 4 places available, with either a resdiential or non-residential option

* Residential & catered: £1,100

* Non-residential: £800

* Discount price: (ask the University Career Zone – grants may be available to help you)

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