Home, for Ambios, is on the Sharpham Estate in South Devon – situated on the banks of the beautiful River Dart estuary, near to the market town of Totnes.
We manage Lower Sharpham Farm, an 80 acre organic beef and sheep farm, striking a balance between agriculture and the restoration of the natural habitat. Our farm is central to our ability to offer the best training and education – providing valuable real-world experience to our trainees and a treasured community resource.
In 2020, we took on Home Farm – an additional 50 acres of farmland – with the intention of rewilding the land and expanding our training resources. This new and exciting project aims to restore biodiversity within the River Dart Valley, and give nature the opportunity to recover from the effects of modern farming.
Part of the unique experience of training with Ambios is the community you’ll create with your fellow trainees. Living and working together, you’ll grow and prepare food, clean and take care of your accommodation and learn and socialise as a group. But your time with us is often a very personal journey too and so space, privacy and solitude can also be easily found in the acres of beautiful countryside which surrounds you.
Meals are prepared communally with all ingredients provided, using local, organic produce where possible, some directly from the farm. The way of life at Lower Sharpham Farm has sustainability firmly in mind. We keep food miles low, provide heating and hot water via air source heat pump and generate electricity with solar panels.
Our traditional yurt, heated by a large woodburning stove, is the main indoor training space, whilst practical expertise can be honed in our workshops for machinery, forestry and farm management. There’s a second learning and chill-out space on the second floor of the forestry workshop. There is a woodland fire-pit clearing for outdoor gatherings,and the main farm barn often acts as an events venue. Our main staff office can be found in the Lihay building on entry to the site.
Our farms provide a rich learning environment in which trainees can put the best conservation techniques into practice. A wide network of natural habitats are already established here, and we run a biodiversity monitoring programme to ensure they continue to thrive. Our farm management plan explains our approach to farming, and how we aim to achieve a balance between learning, biodiversity and economy in all we do.
Eco-accommodation is all provided within the farm. We have a 8-bedroom bunkhouse where trainees find privacy in their rooms, and enjoy communal living in the adjoining dayroom with its cosy woodburner, large open plan kitchen and dining room, laundry and bathroom. A further 2 bathrooms are available within the bunkhouse itself. Nestled among the trees, this provides a homely and relaxing place to return after a day of learning and outdoor work.
For longer visitors, such as those on our 9 month training course, there is also an accommodation wagon, with 2 single rooms, nestled in the forest for a unique outdoor living experience.
For university and other groups wanting to conduct residential field courses, camping is available overlooking the stunning River Dart Valley, and our rewilding fields. Catering is provided in our large barn space for larger groups, and in the Tea Break Room for smaller groups. WC and shower facilities are available to make the stays comfortable, creating a memorable group learning experience.
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