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


The South Hams Society Is a 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.


Covid -19 – Safety and Social Distancing

Thank you for visiting the South Hams Society Web site.  As part of our arrangements to comply with the Government’s instructions, we have postponed our Events program until further notice.  We will review the situation when the Covid-19 emergency measures are relaxed.

 In the meantime, we will continue to post ‘Calls to action’ for urgent planning cases where we believe the proposed development would cause harm to the South Hams landscape and beauty. These calls will be for action which you can take safely online.

Meanwhile, if you are out exercising on any of our lovely beaches, do please take a bag for and collect what litter you can.  Informal beach cleans can continue!  Stay safe and healthy and let’s help others do that too.


Latest Articles …     

Beavers released on National Trust land to ease flooding risk

  ‘Drivers of change’: beavers released on National Trust land to ease flooding risk Beaver number one was in no hurry to exit her safe, straw-lined wooden crate. After a tense six-minute wait, Derek Gow, a wildlife expert, reached a hand into the creature’s temporary home, grabbed her gently by the rear end and encouraged her...

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The Devon Dark Skies

Devon Dark Skies Day The Devon Dark Skies Day took place last October. Among the presentations is an excellent Power Point presentation. Devon’s Dark Skies and tranquillity – by Mel Croll, Landscape Specialist, Devon County Council & Peter Finch, Devon CPRE. The presentation is well informed and interesting.    ...

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Do you want to reduce the carbon footprint of your food?

Do you want to reduce the carbon footprint of your food? Jan 28, 2020 | Correspondence | 0 comments THE SOUTH HAMS SOCIETY – HELPING TO INFORM THE DEBATE Our World In Data You want to reduce the carbon footprint of your food? Focus on what you eat, not whether your food is local January 24, 2020 by Hannah Ritchie Our World in Data presents the...

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Devon Climate Emergency – Your Ideas

Annual average temperatures for the planet from 1850-2018 using data from UK Met Office (source) Let us know your ideas       Devon Climate Emergency  Taking action to get Devon to net-zero carbon “Temperature rise to date has already resulted in profound alterations to human and natural systems, including increases in droughts,...

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The Woodland Trust’s Emergency Tree Plan

How to increase tree cover and address the nature and climate emergency. In the 2019 general election, every major political party backed the necessary increase in woods and trees in response to the climate and nature crisis. The Woodland Trust’s Emergency Tree Plan sets out key recommendations for national and local governments across the UK to:...

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BIGBURY REFERENDUM This is a special drum roll to help you organise your ability to vote in our Referendum on the Bigbury Neighbourhood Plan on Thursday 27 February 2020 at the Memorial Hall (7.00 am to 10.00 pm) The SHDC Information Sheet for Bigbury Voters can be downloaded HERE On this site, you will find the following information: Bigbury...

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Ropewalk Development – online survey is open

Most of our members know that South Hams District Council owns a piece of land at Ropewalk in Kingsbridge that is currently derelict.  The building on it is unused and in a poor state of repair. The Council would like to use this land for the benefit of Kingsbridge and the South Hams.  In line with the policies of our commercial strategy, we want...

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‘Wait A Minute’ – South Devon AONB Partnership Committee

GLOVER REVIEW PROPOSALS AND THE SOUTH DEVON AONB – Meeting June 2019 Because of the importance of the Glover Review, we make no apology for posting an extract from the June AONB Partnership Meeting Minutes – published this month. The AONB Manager briefed Members of the Partnership on the Landscapes Review final report. The meeting Papers...

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Take A Turn At Slash And Burn – Charleton Marsh

KINGSBRIDGE NATURAL HISTORY SOCIETY Take a turn at slash and burn! The KNHS need volunteers to help with cutting and burning reeds at Charleton Marsh. Help the landowner keep the reeds manageable at Charleton Marsh on the morning of Thursday 6th February, starting at 9.30 am. With hard work the group hopes to be done by 1pm. Volunteers will be...

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Marine Climate Change Impact Partnership 2020 Report

Marine Climate Change Report KEY MESSAGES There is clear evidence that warming seas, reduced oxygen, ocean acidification and sea-level rise are already affecting UK coasts and seas. Increasingly, these changes are having an impact on food webs, with effects seen in seabed-dwelling species, as well as plankton, fish, birds and mammals. The upper...

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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.

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