WHY WE EXIST
The society was founded in 1961, a year after the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) was designated, to protect and contribute to the natural amenity of what was recognised as a very special area. Since then rapidly rising property prices and the complexity of the planning system have provided conditions in which the South Hams is under relentless pressure from developers of all types, creating a real threat to its character and beauty which is loved by so many.
These pressures are eroding the natural environment more rapidly than ever before. We are particularly alarmed at the current rate of tree loss in the area. The protection afforded by designations such as AONB and Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) is not as effective as is often assumed. Other guardians of the environment, such as Natural England, the Devon Wildlife Trust and the RSPB have specialised interests which do not necessarily accord with those of the farming community or the wider interests of the public.
The South Hams Society has an important role to play in making the priorities of the local community known.
Now more than ever before we need an active and involved society.
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