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 …

Ropewalk Development – Urgent Update

Ropewalk Hotel Development Proposal – Update 79 Bedroom Hotel to be Built on ‘The Ropewalk’ – Council land at Kingsbridge Quayside Kingsbridge Town Council Meeting on Tuesday 11th June, 7pm at Quay House Progress in this controversial major development proposal will be...

How do we protect the South Hams?

 We protect and enhance what we value in our landscapes in the following ways: Landscape designations such as National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty aim to protect the beauty of our very best and nationally valued landscapes. The protection of these is covered by legislation and is...

What’s on in Devon

There are so many things to do in the South Hams and South Devon, attractions, activities, beaches, museums, walks, and so much more – there is something for everyone and you really will be spoilt for choice.South Devon has an endless supply of new and exciting things to do all year round –...

Good Working Relationships

Planning ensures that the right development happens in the right place at the right time, benefitting communities and the economy. It plays a critical role in identifying what development is needed and where, what areas need to be protected or enhanced and in assessing whether proposed development...

New Devon Marine Conservation Zones

Government designates 41 new Marine Conservation ZonesIncluding the Devon Avon Estuary, The Dart Estuary and East of Start Point  The South Hams Society welcome the news that the Government is designating a third phase of 41 new Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs). This historic move will help...


PLANNING REF: 1139/19/FUL FISHERMANS BEACH, EAST PORTLEMOUTH Construction of boat store, sea defence works to protect public bridleway, along with associated bridleway restoration works. The beach location of the proposed boathouse sits within the AONB, Heritage Coast/ Undeveloped Coast, and on...

Poisoned Elm

Elm trees deliberately poisoned   Kingsbridge Gazette (2018) The vandals drilled holes into four of the elm trees and poured poison down their trunks This was a criminal act planned out by someone who knew what they were doing. A vandal has managed to kill at least four elm trees by drilling holes...

New Leader for SHDC

New leader of SHDC is announced The wellbeing and prosperity of all the residents and businesses in the South Hams must be at the heart of everything we do, the new leader of South Hams District Council declared. Cllr Judy Pearce, the Conservative councillor for the Salcombe and Thurlestone ward,...

SHDC Cracks Down

Couple Fined For Illegal Tree FellingTwo second-home owners have been fined after pleading guilty to cutting down five protected trees in a Salcombe conservation area. Klaas Kalis and Penny Kalis, from Grub Street, Oxted, Surrey, pleaded guilty to contravening the provisions of a South Hams...

Climate Crisis!

A woman has presented a 1,000 signature petition to SHDC Friday, 17 May 2019 – Local People by Daniel Clark Kingsbridge Gazette A lot happened in the first full council meeting of South Hams District Council since the local elections. A petition was handed in with over 1,000 signatures to...

Shoreline erosion on the Salcombe-Kingsbridge Estuary

I am writing on behalf of the South Hams Society to register our concern about a Planning Application to install ‘rock armour’ erosion defences at properties on Curlew Drive on the outskirts of West Charleton . We have been very struck by the photographic and satellite evidence submitted in a...


YOU ARE INVITED SOUTH HAMS SOCIETY Open meeting – Thursday 13th June at 7pm, in the upstairs function room at the Seven Stars pub in Kingsbidge. SHS Members will be meeting informally and we hope you can join us.  An hour or so’s ‘business’ in the upstairs function room,...

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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