We’re delighted to welcome our 2021 summer trainees to Lower Sharpham Farm. Over the next twelve weeks they will gain hands on conservation experience and build their field skills and confidence in understanding the ecology of the countryside and the work required to secure its future. Here, a couple of the trainees reflect on their first week with us…
We all know what this last year’s been like; and it’s a shock to the system to suddenly meet new people after such a long time only with those in our bubble, but the shock quickly wears off when said people are so nice! Everyone’s journey here has been unique, bringing different perspectives and experiences with them to Lower Sharpham Farm but the enthusiasm is universal. Within 24 hours plans are erupting from the group; spike ball, wild swimming, pub crawls, we are all desperate to explore this part of the world we find ourselves in. Theme nights are quietly planned in the background, while we watch the football (England beats Germany; to more confusion than joy).
“What’s nice about this group is there’s a drive to be together” – Chiara
“The openness is authentic; the laid-backness not contrived or pretentious.” -Ele
Our days have been spent gaining an overview of the farm, Ambios and the rewilding project happening here, it feels like both an overload of information and not nearly enough! There is such a strong desire to learn everything we possibly can. Yesterday we went on a walk round the rewilding area with Mike and couldn’t go 30 seconds without asking him the name of a plant or the number of insect species or some great open philosophical question about the nature of rewilding! Despite our restlessness there is also a sense of peace you can feel throughout the farm. It comes through in the quite evenings of close conversation and early mornings spent watching the sun spread across the valley while sipping a cup of coffee. We all know how lucky we are to be here and can only look forward to the months to come.
Our first week at Sharpham Estate has been an explorative, informative week, where we have got to know our beautiful surroundings and each other.
We have got to know the basics of how the farm operates, and the land which surrounds us. Mike has shared lots of stats and facts that have already blown our mind, including about how a parasitic weed is actually good for plant biodiversity. All very fascinating and inspiring!
It’s been lovely to meet like minded people and we have all gelled very quickly. We are looking forward to the rest of the course and exploring the local area as a group!
The end of the first week is closely upon us and already time is going too fast.