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.

The Seymour Drive ex-wood described by the Applicants as a “brownfield site!” See our post below.





Latest Articles …

Farm Briefings

This is the second in our series of ‘FREE’ Farm Briefings, Dr James Jones, who is a farmer and agricultural consultant, has kindly invited members and friends of the South Hams Society to Rickham Farm on Saturday, 5 October, at 10 am. Please contact Elizabeth Bennett (  or Tel.  01548 531038  if you would like...

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South Devon AONB Annual Forum – 9th October 2019

South Devon AONB Annual Forum takes place at Stokeley Farm Shop, near Stokenham on Wednesday 9th October, 6pm-8.30pm. You can book via the link below, with tickets sent back by email. Speakers include Lord...

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Forestry Commission Latest Guidance

Here is an updated version of the Forestry Commissions booklet “Tree Felling – getting permission”. This replaces the old ‘blue cover’ booklet with the same name and which many of you will be familiar with. It is a really clear explanation of how and when to apply for a felling license, with lots of links to further guidance. For more information...

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Pre-Application Openness And Transparency

Pre-application engagement by prospective applicants Pre-application engagement by prospective applicants with the Local Planning Authority is a normal part of the planning process. It offers significant potential to improve both the efficiency and effectiveness of the planning application system and improve the quality of planning applications...

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WOODLAND FELLING AT SEYMOUR DRIVE – A NATIONAL SCANDAL  YOU CAN HELP  Seymour Drive is a residential area on a hill above the picturesque seaside town of Dartmouth in South Devon. It lies outside the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) but is certainly visible from it. In 1999, planning permission was given to a housing...

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1949 National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act.

The South Hams Society help to celebrate 70 years of the 1949 National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act. Didi Alayli, Chair of the South Hams Society and a member of the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Partnership Committee joined Roger English (Manager of the South Devon AONB Partnership) and others at South Down Farm on...

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Publication of the Landscapes Review, 21 September 2019

  Just to let you know that the South Hams AONB Unit have announced  the publication of the Governments independent review into England’s National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), which is  available HERE Or via:...

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‘Latest’ Tree Guidance from SHDC

LATEST GUIDANCE ON TREES FROM SOUTH HAMS DISTRICT COUNCIL  To establish if trees are subject to Tree Preservation Orders or arise within Conservation Areas prior to undertaking works, you can quickly answer your enquiry by using our interactive mapping system at: Is my tree protected?   If you...

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Homes Under The Planner!

Homes Under The Hammer host Martin Roberts has had his dreams of building a new home in Dartmouth dashed by the town council. The BBC television presenter unveiled his vision at a planning meeting earlier this week, even taking a model of the proposed development along with him. During the meeting on Tuesday, September 10. Mr Roberts told...

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Red Alert Warning – Selcombe & Kingsbridge Estuary

  In his report to SHDC objecting to the Chillington development proposals, Leslie  Pengelly notes that the Salcombe and Kingsbridge Estuary, which has gone from being progressively more polluted by raw solid sewage in the mid-sixties, as house building ballooned around the estuary towns and villages, to becoming much cleaner in the early...

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Healthy Sweet Chestnut Trees Felled

 A year ago the Forestry Commission condemned almost two hundred Sweet Chestnut trees in ancient woodland in East Allington, from evidence gained by aeriel hotography alone. They have not provided details of how many trees were tested for Phytophthora in the field ,by the ‘Lateral Flow Device’ testing regime, which is highly...

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Protecting The South Hams

 Decisions, decisions! Every Planning Application, Appeal or Public Inquiry is unique and must be assessed on its merits. Past cases do however provide planning guidance to all those interested in protecting or improving our natural or built environment. Here are examples of important resent Planning Appeal and Public Inquiry Decisions which have...

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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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