Working4Wildlife: Birds, Plants & Insects, Portugal 2wk

Birds, Plants & Insects, Portugal: 4 April to 18 April

Your Host Organisation

Ambios Portugal is a non-governmental non-for-profit organization founded in 2018 and based at the Cork and Cork Oak Observatory in Coruche, Portugal. It shares a similar name to Ambios Ltd, UK but is entirely independent.   As a scientific association, Ambios Portugal aims to disseminate the scientific culture and to promote the involvement of the society in science, based on the principles and practice of sustainable development and biodiversity conservation, towards the quality of life and the environment in general.

Ambios Portugal was founded by a team from universities, non-governmental organizations, companies and the public administration, with links to the environment sector.  For information at

The mobility part of Working4Wildlife is totally funded by ERASMUS+


Participant feedback

Previous participants have said

“I gained competency in surveying and identifying river invertebrates, insects and vegetation in two diverse habitats and learnt about surveying birds and watched a bird ringing session and went on a bat detection walk. I also learnt about practical ecological methodology and feel I have a better understanding of how ecologists operate and am more confident and feel more enabled to assist in ecological surveys and to actively help others understand and appreciate their local ecology.”

“All the hands on experiences of conducting the surveys and identifying what we found were important but so were the sessions on bird ringing and demonstrations of bird surveying. I also found the opportunity to talk to experts about how they actually spend their time and why, was very useful.”


Tasks During Mobility

You will be working as part of a small team of 6 alongside both Ambios Portugal and Ambios Ltd UK staff.  Previous trainees have assisted with diurnal and nocturnal bird identification and surveys, invertebrate surveys, plant families and identification, contribution to reference collections (invertebrates and herbarium), nature journaling, and outdoor group walk and talks (in English).

Nature journaling (an observational skill largely lost from nature conservation work at this time) will be a specific feature of this course.  No previous experience is necessary – just an enthusiasm to ‘have a go’.  Practicing this work brings with it many additional employability/transferable skills including patience, observation, teamwork, communication (verbal, non-verbal), resilience & reflectiveness.

2020 dates and costs

Our vocational training Working4Wildlife on-line course which includes modules on bird identification, bird handling (ringing) and delivering live interpretation will begin on 23 March 2020 (and you can take up to 1 year to complete).  The cost of the course is £495 payable in 2 instalment, £200 due 23 March and £295 due 30 March.

Being registered on our Working4Wildlife vocational training on-line course means Erasmus+ can fund the following cohort to Ambios Portugal accompanied by Ambios Ltd staff.

6 places: 4 to 18 April


Costs of the UK elements

The costs include:

  • Access to our on-line vocational learning materials
  • Support and vocational assessment while achieving your course*
  • Access to our Private Facebook Q&A Group with guest employers
  • E-badge employer recognition

*you have 1 year to complete the on-line learning

Erasmus+ pays for:

  • All transport (train/bus or flights) and onward travel to and from UK to EU host
  • Personal travel insurance for the EU mobility
  • All food and accommodation with your host
  • Support while on mobility

The above costs DO NOT include:

  • Travel to/from UK your point of departure from UK.
  • Personal spending money whilst in country

Travel and Insurance

We have tried coach travel to Portugal and it takes quite a time = 36hrs.  We want to send people overland to save on environmental impact and we’d welcome your choice but also entirely understand if for health or welfare reasons you we prefer to fly. However we travel, we will begin to offset the impacts via our tree planting scheme at Lower Sharpham Farm.

Successful applicants will be awarded an Erasmus+ financial contribution towards personal insurance. This must be purchased before the field trip and a copy of the insurance certificate supplied to Ambios Ltd prior to your departure.

Accommodation, local transport and food

Accommodation is in a converted town house right next to the River Sorraia in the town of Coruche.  It is used by visiting researchers, volunteers with whom we may share some of our time.  It offers basic yet comfortable shared sleeping accommodation in bunk bed style (4 persons per room) with communal bathrooms and cooking facilities.  There is a washing machine for washing clothes and places to sit and relax during downtimes.  The location provides an ideal place from which to explore the surrounding countryside and river system.

Transport will be in local cars/local government minibus and most journey are relatively short (c. 30-45mins).

Food will be prepared by two trainees cooking for the rest of the team on a rota basis. Washing up will be done by two other people. Both activities will rotate around the group throughout the field trip time. The small kitchen has a hob, oven, microwave, toaster and kettle.

Lunch and breakfast can be prepared together or separately. There is a water filter in one of the rooms for trainees to refill water bottles.  We encourage a vegetarian diet for a more sustainable way of eating, but if a few trainees agree they would like to have meat or fish, this can be arranged. If specific ingredients are needed, please ask. As little food waste as possible is encouraged.  If any trainee has a food allergy and would feel more comfortable preparing their food separately, please let us know.

Indicative Content

Over the duration of the 2-week work-based training with Ambios Portugal the following areas of learning will be covered.

  • Orientation: Who are Ambios Portugal?; brief history of Coruche; showing the trainees around the village (ATM, Health Centre, Mini-markets, view-point, river path); showing trainees area of residence during their stay; showing the trainees the urban garden (hopefully it will be up and running at this point!)
  • Bird ID skills + theory (focused on diurnal birds): binoculars, vocalizations, survey methods
  • Bird ID skills +theory (focused on nocturnal birds): vocalizations, survey methods
  • Bird ringing: theory and practice, legislation
  • Nocturnal surveys: bats, moths, owls
  • Diurnal surveys: birds, invertebrates (observation, pit fall traps, and net dipping), plants
  • Camera trapping
  • Analysis of owl pellets, and invertebrate pit-fall and camera-trap results
  • There may also be a opportunity to contribute to the new herbarium plant press
  • Trainees perform ‘outdoor talks’ about what they have learned
  • There will also be an opportunity to develop your own nature journal


Kit list: We recommend you bring the following items:

We recommend you bring the following items:

  • Head torchand spare batteries
  • Good waterproof coat and trousers– please be aware that shorts are not a great idea for fieldwork and that you should consider bringing more than one pair of long trousers!
  • Sturdy walking boots
  • Slippers for around the accommodation
  • Wash kit
  • Personal medication
  • Water bottle
  • Plastic box for lunchtime food
  • Laptop or tablet (optional)
  • Mobile telephoneand charger
  • Adaptor from EU to UK electrics
  • Binoculars!
  • Pen, pencil and note book
  • Bird field guide – we recommend the Collins bird guide
  • Spending money
  • Camera (optional), with charger leads
  • Passport
  • EHIC card
  • Travel insurance documents
  • Sun cream, Sun hat, sun glasses
  • Mosquito repellent, bite and sting cream (just in case) and consider a head net or similar.

No need to bring:

  • Towels!



Before your trip we’ll have a Skype conference meeting where you can:

  • Meet your fellow participants
  • Hear more about your host organisation and logistics
  • Discuss the kit list
  • Be introduced to your on-line learning environment
  • See how the paperwork bit works
  • Hear about the post-mobility Employers’ knowledge cafe
  • Understand how our system of support works

Post Mobility

Following your mobilities you’ll receive recognition from your hosts and a Europass.  Once you’ve completed the on-line learning you’ll receive further recognition via an e-badge.

You’ll also be invited to a final course get together in October at our farm in South Devon.

You can take up to 1 year from your date of registration to complete the on-line course.

How to Apply

To apply for the Working4Wildlife 2 week course, please fill in the application form. The deadline for applications is 12 noon, Monday 2nd March. Preference will be given to early applications. 


Ambios Ltd are committed to protecting your personal data and working in accordance with all relevant data protection legislation. Will will never sell your data to anyone. Your data will be used for contacting you about this course and may be used to make you aware of other similar offers. You can opt out at any time via an email to with ‘Opt Out’ in the subject line.