The South Hams Society

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


  • To stimulate interest and care for the beauty, history and character of the South Hams.
  • To encourage high standards of planning and architecture that respect the character of the South Hams.
  • To secure the protection & improvement of the landscape, features of historic interest and public amenity.
  • To promote the conservation of the South Hams as a living, working environment.

The Society was founded in 1961, after the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) was designated, to work to enhance South Devon’s outstanding beauty.

Rapidly rising property prices and the complexity of the planning system have provided conditions in which the South Hams is under 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. 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.


The South Hams Society reviews planning applications which it believes do not meet public policy, it writes to the Local Planning Authority (South Hams District Council) and can provide advice at planning meetings or inquiries. Aiming to ensure that all planning and building protects the environment and history of the South Hams.

Now finalised and published online, the Joint Local Plan specifies what development will be allowed in the South Hams, and where.


We make representations to various environmental bodies in order to try to preserve and encourage wildlife. Nature Reserves and Sites of Special Scientific Interest but in the rest of the countryside, which forms the background to our daily lives here. The improvement and conservation of our natural environment is of great importance for us all.

For the South Hams Society Constitution click here.



Join us now and help protect this beautiful part of England. Membership costs just £10 for one or £15 for the family a year.

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