Long term volunteer placement

9 month rewilding and community living volunteer placement

Are you ready for work but aren’t having any luck finding the right job for you? Are you motivated and inspired to make a difference? Do you have an open mind, enjoy a challenge, are adaptable and can apply your skills and motivation to many varied tasks?

Join us on our rewilding journey for a 9-month volunteer placement at Lower Sharpham Farm, on the stunning Sharpham Estate in South Devon. Through this placement you will work towards improving your employability skills. You will take responsibility for various farm and residential tasks, and lead our team of residential trainees, motivating and inspiring them and modelling positive ways of life.

You will gain knowledge and practical experiences required by the nature conservation sector through workshops and courses, as well as develop your confidence in transferable skills (leadership, collaborative working, organisation and effective communication) through your day-to-day responsibilities on the farm. You will be encouraged to live sustainably during your time with us, helping out in our organic garden, assisting with the farm tasks and shared community life of the residents.

Dates: TBC

Training Opportunities

You will gain from engaging in:

  • Nature Conservation Courses & Workshops:
    • Plant Identification
    • Bird Identification
    • Foraging
    • GIS/GPS Biodiversity Mapping
    • Camera Trapping
    • Public Engagement
  • Rewilding: learn about the background, interpretations and management intervention to rewilding and assist with county wide rewilding initiatives via the Devon Rewilding Network
  • Rural skills: fencing, hedge laying, gardening
  • Woodland Management: tree-planting, deadwood pile creation, coppicing, charcoal making
  • Livestock management: handling and care
  • Networks: work with our partners (Sharpham Trust and United Response) to deliver the lottery-funded project Sharpham Wild for People


Weekly Responsibilities

  • Organising the daily living environment for the residents – ordering food on a weekly basis, preparing living task rotas including cleaning, preparing food and organising farm tasks including letting hens and ducks out
  • Assisting with livestock care, movement and handling
  • Grading and delivering eggs to our various customers
  • Preparing healthy organic meals with/for other residents
  • Driving trainees on field trips around the Devon countryside
  • Contributing to Ambios social media channels and story telling – gathering images from day to day work and sharing with audience to help raise profile and connect people with our work
  • Setting up the bunkhouse for new trainees arrival, washing sheets and cleaning rooms

Seasonal Responsibilities

  • Firewood production – splitting, stacking, seasoning and moving around the site
  • Farm maintenance tasks, including basic carpentry for fixing raised beds in the garden
  • Cutting grass on a weekly basis through growing season, hedge cutting in winter
  • Site maintenance – maintaining hanging baskets, herb garden, leaf raking, clearing paths
  • Assisting in our permaculture garden – weeding, harvesting, planting, fixing, cleaning

Projects and Rewilding

Alongside some of these routine tasks we have lined up numerous interesting and challenging projects over the course of the 9-month period. You will help us in raising not just 1, but 2 barns, which will be used as workshop space and storage. You will also assist in the restoration of a degraded parkland landscape – part of our ongoing rewilding work.

Furthermore, you can help to monitor the changes across re-wilded land via species surveys. You will assist with the stock management of wild grazers (cows/sheep) and take oversight for their welfare. You will work on public engagement (writing blog posts and social media content), take on a project and have responsibility for its completion (species monitoring or habitat management ideas), and be involved in the fencing and improvements for public access. You will also help with the local volunteer programme, which will involve practical countryside management tasks such as hedge laying.

The E-Badge

Certain elements of this placement will be accredited through e-badging.

The e-badges will contain information on specific learning outcomes, dates and duration of training elements, as well as detailed descriptions of achievements. If you wish, you can then share the e-badges on social media and professional platforms and provide it to potential future employers.

An example of one of our courses which you would receive FREE and which has an e-badge for can be found here (Effective Camera Trapping).

Who is this for?

This placement is ideal for:

  • Those looking for leadership roles in the future
  • Those looking to gain knowledge and practical skills required by the nature conservation sector and beyond
  • Those who want to live in the beautiful countryside, enjoy the rural life and live with low impact in a conscientious manner
  • Those who enjoy socialising, meeting new people
  • Those who enjoy taking responsibility for and who have empathy towards others
  • Those who are compassionate, hard-working, sociable, willing to learn and share knowledge


“I woke to the sound of birdsong and sunshine. My bedroom was in a large barn and was cosy warm to welcome me, a lovely fire burned in the large bright communal room and book shelves laden with books on everything from birds to anthropology made me feel very pleased to have arrived in this idyllic spot”

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.

Travel and Logistics

With an increasing awareness of the environmental impact of travel (especially by air), we are encouraging all our trainees to consider overland travel. Please take your time and plan your travel to us overland.  There are good train and bus connections within the UK from London down to Totnes.  We can pick you up from the railway station in Totnes or coach stop on the main road (A38). In our experience, travelling long distances overland takes time. Please plan your journey to us with this in mind.  You might need to leave your home country a day or more earlier to arrive with us on the start date of our programme.

Websites for overland travel:

Sometimes personal circumstances including time pressures or health concerns mean that flying is the only way to come to us.  That is fine.  We feel we need to consider our overall travel impact and so if some people can come overland we will start to reduce the overall environmental impact. Once you arrive, you’ll see we continue to actively explore, at every opportunity, different ways to reduce our environmental impact and we are making progression.  You can join in and contribute to our exploration, helping us live, learn and work for wildlife at #LowerSharphamFarm.


To apply:

1. Please complete this application form and email jackskuse@ambios.net to let him know you have applied.

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

3.  If we think we’ll be a good fit for your needs, we’ll offer you a place on the 9 month rewilding and community living placement.

We may send you updates from time to time about our other Ambios courses. You can opt out of this service at any time by emailing info@ambios.net.

Fees and Making Payment

Once Ambios has accepted your application for the 9 month placement, you can make payment using the link below.

Cost: £4900 for the 9 months. This is a full board residential placement, inclusive of accommodation, food, training and field trips.

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