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 …


National Parks and AONBsThe Government is carrying out a review into whether the protections for National Parks and AONBs are still fit for purpose. In particular, what might be done better, what changes will help and if the definitions and systems in place are still valid.The review will be led...


The South Hams Society objected to a proposal to build a house on a highly prominent hillside within the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which would have caused harm to the scenic landscape quality of the AONB and the protected coastline. The planning aplication has been turned...

Winslade Slurry Store

Winslade Slurry Store (Resubmission)  “Clearly, slurry storage raises serious concerns for the operator and public safety. The proposed slurry store is adjacent to the public road and would be easily accessible. Decomposition generates gases such as ammonia, methane, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen...


RETROSPECTIVE PLANS PROVOKING CRITISISM KRISTEN BOUNDS KINGSBRIDGE GAZETTE – 10/05/2019 A retrospective planning application has been submitted to South Hams District Council after a home owner put a tennis court, skate ramp and a two-storey double garage on their land without planning permission....

Protecting the South Hams – Our Guides to planning objections

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...

South Hams Brewery Visit

Sam Brooking of the South Hams Brewery at Stokenham, which has seen substantial investment and modernisation in recent times, has very kindly offered to talk to SHS members at 11.30 on Wednesday 3rd April. The object will be to learn about beer rather than to drink it, but Sam plans to have a brew...

Talk on Honey Bees

Friday January 25th at Churchstow Village Hall, 7.00 p.m. Bee expert Clare Densley is keeper of the bees at Buckfast Abbey, and will be giving a talk on Honey Bees. Admission is free but space is limited, so please call 01548 561539 to give us an idea of numbers....

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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