Protecting and Enhancing the Natural Beauty and Heritage of the South Hams

The South Hams Society

Registered charity no. 263985

Our objectives are to stimulate interest and care for the beauty, history and character of the South Hams. We work to secure the protection and improvement of the landscape, features of historic interest and public amenity and to promote the conservation of the South Hams as a living and working environment. We encourage high standards of planning and architecture that respect the character of the area.

We take the protection of the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) very seriously and work hard to increase people’s knowledge and appreciation of our precious environment. We support the right development – in the right places – and strenuously oppose inappropriate development.

The Society supports the seven ‘Nolan Principles in Public Life’ and expects everyone involved with planning, from applicants to decision takers, to undertake their work in accordance with them. The Society and it’s members aim to meet the same standards.


Latest Articles …

Gerston Point Retrospective Application – Update

  The South Devon AONB Unit has concluded the Retrospective Application proposal would result in adverse impacts upon the purpose of designation for the South Devon AONB. The applicant has not demonstrated public or societal benefits that outweigh the harm that would arise to the natural beauty of...

Council Complaints Policy

  “Early warning of fundamental problems” A South Hams District Council policy paper about complaints notes: “Studies have shown that an organisation that truly welcomes, values and uses complaints to inspire and guide improvement will be more successful than one that does not.”...

The Aims of the Planning System

  Aims of the planning system One of the key aims of the planning system is to balance private interests in the development of land against the wider public interest. In performing this role, planning necessarily affects land and property interests, particularly the financial value of and...

Volunteer Membership Secretary – The South Hams Society

WE ARE LOOKING FOR A MEMBERSHIP SECRETARYThe South Hams Society is a registered charity. Its aims are to promote interest in and care for the beauty, history and character of the South Hams, to protect and improve the landscape and help ensure high planning standards. The role:This is a voluntary...

Britain in Bloom Finals – Kingsbridge

  Kingsbridge Flying High in National Competition Becoming a Champion of Champions’ contender. This year marks a major milestone for the beautiful market town of Kingsbridge as it moves forward into the highest achievable judging category in the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Britain...

The Woods at Moult Hill Salcombe – Protected

 Salcombe’s Woodland ProtectedThe South Hams Society is delighted that, following their objections, the District Council has re-protected the woods at Moult Hill.The woods on Moult Hill Salcombe are highly visible in their spectacular estuary setting. The woodland forms a key part of the...

Selworthy Appeal – Press Release

 PRESS RELEASE – SELWORTHY COURTThe South Hams Society Private development plan for 18 houses in the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty refused.Members of the South Hams Society, a local charity which works to protect and enhance the natural beauty and heritage of South Devon, are...

Selworthy Appeal Success

                                        Excellent news – Selworthy Appeal Decision.  The South Hams Society vigorously opposed the proposal to build 18 houses in the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty overlooking the Salcombe and Kingsbridge Estuary. South Hams District...

Trees – The Big Picture!

      Forest cover in the UK  – The big picture   1 Key points World forest cover is around 30 per cent   The UK is one of the least wooded areas of Europe, with 13 per cent woodland cover (Forestry Commission 2011) compared to around 37 per cent for European Union (EU)...

Council Declare Climate Emergency

Declaring a Climate Change Emergency   Producing An Action Plan and Working Together This includes working with Devon County, Teignbridge District and other Devon councils and their partners as part of the Devon Climate Emergency Response Group. In response to the latest report from the...

Trees Saved!

 ‘Dear Salcombe Members of SHS’ It’s great to be able to share some good news and to thank those responsible on your behalf – please see below.The new SHS Committee sees protecting the remaining trees in Salcombe as a real priority. You can follow what we are up to via our...

Semour Drive Dartmouth – Update

 Strategic planning consultation response The local and wider South Hams community have reacted to the loss of woodland by strenuously opposing the development plans for the cleared hillside at Seymour Drive, Dartmouth. So it is encouraging to see this consultation response to the Planning Case...

FULL Membership

Join us now and help protect this beautiful part of England.

Membership costs just £10 a year. Click here to find out more about the benefits of becoming a full member of the South Hams Society.


Application Form


Your Privacy Matters

Your Privacy and your support matters, so we’d like to use your details to keep in touch about things that may matter to you. If you choose to hear from us, we may send you information based on what is most relevant to you. This might be about volunteering with us, membership, events, conservation work, or fundraising.


Our Privacy Policy


Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty are Britain’s best landscapes. There are 46 of them, all designated by government and protected by law. Each one has its own special character.

The South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty was designated by government in 1960. It covers 60 glorious miles of coastline, estuaries and countryside between Plymouth and Torbay.

The AONB is one of a family of protected landscapes in the UK. With the guidance of a Partnership Committee, the AONB Team work to enhance South Devon’s outstanding beauty, for which the designation was applied.

The special features of South Devon AONB include its rugged coastline, sandy beaches, secretive estuaries, patchwork countryside and historic villages – to name but a few! Visit the Coast & Countryside section and discover more.

PROTECTING TREES AND WOODS – THE SOUTH HAMS GUIDE Trees, hedges and woodland are an integral part of Devon’s countryside and towns, and they provide multiple benefits to society, including filtering air pollution, reducing surface water runoff /contributing to sustainable drainage, providing wildlife habitats, improving water quality and the stabilising of soils and slopes.
Devon’s hedges are particularly special. They are of great historical importance, define the county’s beautiful farmed landscapes, and support an immense amount of wildlife.

Our Tree Guide






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