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, encourage high standards of planning and architecture that respect the character of the South Hams, 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, working environment. We encourage high standards of planning and architecture that respect the character of the area.

We aim 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, working environment.

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 …

Help with hedgerow tree tagging

Dear all Can you please help find farmers willing to identify and tag hedgerow trees this winter, to grow on to become standards? One of our targets in the Saving Devon’s Treescapes project is to tag 12,000 hedgerow trees, to replace ash.  We would like to make a start this winter.  Can you help,...

Search for Appeal Decisions

Every development proposal is ‘unique’. However, planning decisions must be taken in accordance with the local and national plans. Ministerial Statements and case law have also to be considered. It is often important to consider the decisions made in similar cases to the one you are researching,...

The South Hams Character Areas Plymouth Northern Wooded Slopes Plymouth Sounds Eastern Plateau Bigbury Bay Coastal Plateau Plymouth and Modbury Farmlands Salcombe to Kingsbridge Estuary Bolt Tail and Start Point Coastal Plateau Start Bay Coastal...

TPO 966 W1: Plantation House site in Bennett Road.

Thought you would want to see that a new Woodland Order TPO notice that has been served by the Tree Office of South Hams District Council for part of the Plantation House site in Bennett Road, as TPO 966 W1 The reasons for serving the Order are:- The trees are prominent in the landscape and...

57th Annual General Meeting

The 57th Annual General Meeting of the Society will be held on Thursday April 26th at Kingsbridge Community College at 7 p.m. At 7.30 p.m. after the formal business, there will be a discussion on “Transparency in Planning and the proposed changes to the National Planning Policy...

Beach Cleans 2018

  Saturday, 7th April – Great Mattiscombe Sands Meet in Start Point Car Park at 16.00hrs. (low-water 16.58) for an early evening beach-clean. This beach is privately owned but volunteers are allowed to park free of charge. The beach is full of interesting wildlife. Saturday, 19th May...

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



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.


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.



A simple guide – Objecting to a planning development.
If you want to write a good quality planning objection letter, the best place to start is with all of the facts. The best place to find them in is in the planning application, which is held in the Council’s planning office.
While planning applications are often prepared by experienced professionals, it is not unknown for well researched and considered letters of objection, from ‘interested parties’ with no experience of the planning system, to stop a proposed development or to bring about improvements in it’s design that protect our environment and benefit the wider community.
For more guidance go to:
The South Hams Society Guides

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