Trainees embark on a summer with Ambios

After a period of uncertainty due to Covid-19, we are delighted to welcome our summer trainees to Lower Sharpham Farm. They are here to undertake our 12 week nature conservation traineeship, as well as participate in Sharpham’s Wild for People project, helping to make more space for nature and take action for wildlife.

Here is part one of two blog posts, where the trainees reflect on their first week here at the farm…


Once upon a time, six esquires embarked on a journey of discovery. From all corners of the (slightly broken) realm, they battled their way through virus strewn lands to reach the golden county known as Devon. In this fair land, not far from the dwellings of the free spirits and flower people lied Lower Sharpham Barton Farm. Regarded as a haven for fellow creatures of woman and man kind alike, and arcadian nature, this region produced some of the finest Green Knights in all the realm. The esquires, upon successful completion of six herculean tasks, would be accepted into the fellowship of Ambios. And then after their journey would begin…

Arriving at the farm, we were all welcomed into the Sharpham family with open arms. After a period of self-quarantine and many cups of varying shades of tea made by the amazing volunteers, the new trainees have begun our traineeship on the farm. Our first official week at Lower Sharpham has been busy: learning about the objectives of Ambios and the Sharpham Trust and the new rewilding project, which is now in full flow, alongside guided tours around the farm from both Jack and Mike. It is rather unnerving knowing the breadth of information that we will receive over the course of our traineeship, however, it’s exciting to have the opportunity to be working alongside people who are so passionate about nature conservation and its role within communities.

Nature reclaiming land on the Sharpham Estate

The domestic chores are shared by everyone staying in ‘The Bunkhouse’ and it reminds me of being back in first year at university. Cooking lunch and dinner for 11 people is daunting at first but we seem to have scored with our food enthusiasts this cohort, having already had many delicious meals (who knew courgette flowers could be so yummy). We have also been introduced to many characters on the farm: the gang of goats, the calf whose name we cannot decide on and three very plump ducks, to name a few.

Currently we are on the last day of our first week and have been given a series of tasks to complete in teams which will culminate in a meal that represents the nationalities of everyone. As I am writing this, Angus, who is sporting a very fetching Tam o’shanter, and Morag (a sheep) are being drawn onto our team t-shirt. It is safe to say that this week has been full of entertainment.

Looking forward, I think I can speak for everyone in saying that we are all ready to get stuck in with the course the team here have developed. I feel incredibly lucky to be spending my summer with Ambios and have my fingers crossed that we won’t have the ‘normal’ British summer.