Author Archives: SAS

SHARE’s Latest Project

As you may know by now, we have secured an Option to purchase about four acres of land just outside Trevigro. This gives us first refusal and a fixed price for two adjacent fields, between the Trevigro-Haye footpath and the stream below the South West Water works.   Our working title for the project is “Quarry Bottoms” – from the names of the fields, Quarry Field and Bottoms Field.

A PROSPECTUS detailing our vision for this project is now available – read it here…

The prospectus begins with an introduction from our Chairman, then describes:

  • The location and extent of the piece of land
  • Its potential value to the community
  • Possible uses for the land
  • How we can finance the purchase

    As a companion to the prospectus, you can view a short aerial film of the land.  Taken on a lovely day in early Spring, and accompanied by atmospheric music, it shows the silvery beauty of the bare tree branches, the stream glinting through the trees, and the potential for a nature-friendly space in South Hill parish.  It’s on our SHARE YouTube channel at  

    Did you spot the buzzard at about 2m 10s?  Beautiful!

    The footpath from Trevigro to Haye passes alongside the fields.  Take a look by all means, but remember that the fields are private, farmed property.  SHARE does not yet own the land, so please keep to the path.

    Coming soon:

    • Competition to choose a name for the project
    • Feasibility study exploring the possibilities for the site
    • Financial projections (boring but necessary!)

    SHARE – Picnic In The Wild

    We’re keen to show people a piece of land which SHARE has the option to purchase (subject to the approval of our membership).

    So you’re invited to a picnic on Sunday July 23rd, from 11am to 3pm.

    The location is near Trevigro, less than 2 miles walk from Golberdon – OR you can meet us at the Recreation field and go by tractor and trailer!

    Bring your picnic and rugs or chairs.  We will provide additional snacks and soft drinks. Posters will appear on the Parish noticeboards with full details nearer the time, and SHARE members will receive an email update. Non-members can receive the update too, just let us know if you’re interested –

    If you’re not a member of SHARE, and would like to join, you can download a Membership application form (or Associate Membership for those not resident in South Hill Parish) from our web page

    SHARE Breaking News, February 2023

    On Saturday Feb 11th, SHARE had an open meeting in the Parish Hall, where we were able to unveil our next project, and the plans we have going forward. We realised not everyone could make it; this is intended to put everyone in the picture.

    What’s the news? We are delighted to announce that we have secured an Option on about four acres of land just outside Trevigro. This gives us first refusal and a fixed price for two adjacent fields down by the stream opposite the South West Water works. The space is big enough that we can use it for several things simultaneously, and we have a whole range of options open to us.

    For the last few years, SHARE has done well across a number of projects, including firewood, recycling, solar power, tree planting and the Orchard, all of which are dependent on the generosity of members or other people – by donating materials, or by allowing us to use their premises to conduct our activities.  Now SHARE can have a place for itself, where it can run a number of projects literally on its own turf.

    Why would we do that? There’s room for planting some coppicing trees, such as Hazel, which would bolster our firewood supplies. Without planting, sooner or later we’ll run out. It’s a lovely spot, which we can manage for a more biodiverse environment with selected planting of native species. There’s a wet area, where willow for harvest would do well, and plenty of room for south facing ground mounted solar if we wish, and recreational space for all to enjoy by the stream. Access is good, as the public footpath from Trevigro to Haye Mill runs alongside the fields, as shown in pink on the map.

    Having the option means that we have a year to decide whether to complete the purchase, and if so, raise the funding to do so. The land would be owned by SHARE, forever.

    How would it be paid for? There’s a whole range of options available to us, depending on how much we feel we should tap into SHARE’s reserves. A mix of reserves / loans / interest is up to us to balance, in exactly the same way as SHARE funded the Church Park installation. Likewise, the interest on the loans is already secure, as the revenue from wood sales and the Solar PV already covers it.

    So what next? There’s a timeline in the chart below. Firstly we need to understand the range of options for what we’d do with the land, and how it’d be paid for. By midsummer, we will be publishing a Prospectus which describes all we could do, and how it could be funded. We need your views – both now in thinking of the usage and later in response to the prospectus. Then, at the AGM, we’ll put a simple straightforward question to the vote: do we go ahead or not? With a Yes answer, we then have the remainder of the year to secure the funding, make investment offers so that the sale can be completed before the option expires in February 2024.

    If you have ideas about how the space should be used, what we could do, how we could fund it or even whether we should grow SHARE like this, please let us know by getting touch via email to

    SHARE AGM – save the date

    This year’s SHARE AGM event will be held at South Hill Parish Hall from 7.30pm on Thursday 22nd  September 2022

    This is our plan for the evening:

    a.     Information Event, open to all.  SHARE will be publicising what we’ve been able to do since the last AGM, the status of our ongoing plans and projects, and many of the items that fall under the agenda item “Annual Report”. This will be an informal chat and question event held in the Hall. We’ll be planning to cover: wood projects, hydro, recycling, energy, carbon footprinting and wider “green” issues. The displays and discussions will be manned from 7:30pm.

    b.     The formal part of the AGM (i.e. that bit we are legally obliged to do) will start at 8:30 in the Main Hall, taking advantage of the new display that the Hall Committee have installed. There we will conduct the formal finance business, table the legally required motions and elect the Directors for the next year. Only full Members are allowed a vote.

    This year there is a vacancy for a new Finance Director, as Graham Beven is standing down. His has been an invaluable contribution into the success of SHARE, its projects and its stability. We collectively thank Graham for his help and support, and the guidance he has given us.

    We hope that this event will make it easy for everyone to voice their opinions and express their aspirations for SHARE, without the rather formal setting of a big Hall meeting. Non-members are welcome to come and see what we’re all about, and maybe join.

    Please come along and bring us your hopes, criticisms and aspirations to prepare SHARE for the next year.

    SHARE PV Annual Reports

    SHARE has published its annual reports on our two solar PV installations in South Hill Parish.

    The domestic scale (4kW) system on the roof of the Parish Hall has been in place for 7 years. It is supported by a battery, and works well in conjunction with the Hall’s ground source heat pump. SHARE and the Parish Hall share the Feed In Tariff income between us. Read the report here…

    The larger 40kW system, at Church Park South Hill, has been in place for 6 years, providing electricity for the house and business at Church Park and exporting the balance to the grid. The system is financed by investments from SHARE members, and SHARE receives income from the Feed In Tariff and from sales of electricity to Church Park. Read the report here…

    SHARE Update May 2022

    South Hill Jubilee Orchard

    On April 24th, volunteers were invited to help plant a sapling hedge alongside the new parish Orchard.  Altogether, 15 people turned up to help for varying amounts of time, and we were able to plant more than 420 trees in just over 4 hours.  Species included Rowan, Elder, Dog Rose, Crab Apple, Blackthorn and Hazel.  Refreshments were provided and, after a damp start, the weather was kind to us.

    On April 24th, volunteers were invited to help plant a sapling hedge alongside the new parish Orchard. Altogether, 15 people turned up to help for varying amounts of time, and we were able to plant more than 420 trees in just over 4 hours. Species included Rowan, Elder, Dog Rose, Crab Apple, Blackthorn and Hazel. Refreshments were provided and, after a damp start, the weather was kind to us.

    The new hedgerow will form a boundary between the Jubilee Orchard and the new allotments, and a wildlife corridor along the internal boundary of the orchard.

    A Grand Opening is planned at the Orchard on June 3rd as part of the South Hill Parish Jubilee Celebrations, with information for the public and entertainments for young and not so young.

    Energy Crisis

    Recent events have thrown into sharp relief the reasons why SHARE was formed by a group of concerned residents 7 years ago.  Our mission statement, “Powering renewable energy into a secure and sustainable future for all”, set us on a path which saw the installation of 40kW of solar PV panels at Church Park, South Hill.  To date this has generated 22.6MWh, saving 4.81tonnes of CO2 equivalent.  Unfortunately the abolition of the Feed-in Tariff made further similar installations financially unviable.  However, we have high hopes that in the near future it will be possible to have local energy networks, in which power generated locally can benefit local households directly through cheaper tariffs.  Totnes Renewable Energy Society (Tresoc) are on track to deliver this in Totnes, and we are watching with interest.

    Meanwhile, what can we as individuals do to reduce our energy usage (to save both money and CO2 emissions)?  A recent post by Martin Lewis, the Money Saving Expert outlined ‘90 Ways to Survive The Cost of Living Crisis’, which includes many hints and tips for energy saving.  The Consumers Association website, is also a good source of advice e.g. ‘Ease the squeeze: how to save on your energy bills’

    The Hydro-power struggle

    More recently, regulars will have read about our attempts to measure the generating potential of a small river in the parish.  It seems we’re not the only ones to have our hopes dashed by the regulations and fees imposed by the Environment Agency.  Tresoc have recently had to abandon their hopes for a hydro scheme on the River Dart, a much more promising project than ours, at a location which had historically generated electricity for the Dartington Estate in the 1930s.  You can read about it here…  

    To quote Rupert Armstrong Evans of Evans Engineering (Water and Power engineers since 1810), “Decades of environmental legislation designed to protect rivers have inadvertently caught small domestic scale waterpower and watermills in their web and will kill them off in a few years if nothing changes.”  Rupert’s home, Trecarrell Mill, a working mill for around 500 years, was one of the first to feed ‘green electricity’ into the National Grid.  Rupert was upgrading it to produce enough electricity for around 30 homes when the EA imposed new conditions that rendered the project unviable.  Trecarrell is only one of many historic water mills across the UK with the potential to become sources of renewable energy.

    Congratulations from SHARE to South Hill Connection 

    100 editions of the newsletter – what an achievement! SHARE is proud to be a regular contributor to the Connection since our early days in 2015.  We registered as a Community Benefit Society that year, and together with the Parish Council, installed our first solar PV array on the Parish Hall roof.  This continues to supply power for the Hall and will do so for years to come.

    Kit Hillbillies Rock Calstock

    On Friday March 4th 2022, the amazing Kit Hillbillies played at Calstock Arts, at the Old Chapel, Calstock.

    A great time was had by all, and a generous collection for the UK Red Cross Ukraine appeal raised £1500.

    How to describe the Kit Hillbillies?

    Old-timey, good-timey bluegrass!
    With rousing vocal harmonies that smuggle in occasional quirky local references.

    Instrumental tasting notes: Banjo, fiddle, mandolin, guitar. Irresistibly tappy on the toes, with a crisp percussive finish.

    Think Betty Stogs, rather than Harvey’s Bristol Cream!

    In their words: “We throw in some original bluesy songs with many a knowing nod to the backwoods and badlands of Devon & Cornwall. These *usually* avoid causing offence (happily people don’t always listen to the words!). We always do some 20thC classics by the likes of Johnny Cash & Steve Earle. And like Hayseed Dixie we throw in songs by Creedence Clearwater Revival, the Clash and even Radiohead – all delivered in good-time string band style. In short, it’s the makings of a rousing, stomping night of tunes.”