Category Archives: Clubs/Groups

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, which.co.uk 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.

A Newsletter produced by and for the Parish of South Hill


Latest Newsletter!

Read all about it!

Newsletter number 100, May 2022

In this 100th edition of the South Hill Connection:

  • 100 editions, 15 years – a trip down the Connection memory lane
  • In-depth articles from advertisers and users of the Parish Hall
  • Photos from the Connection Easter Egg Trail
  • Parish celebrations for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee
  • Parish Hall news and AGM details
  • Horticultural Show – early details
  • Volunteers needed for Community Speedwatch
  • Latest from the St Sampson’s, SHARE, Recycling for Charity & Parish Council

And much more…

Next Edition will be a Jubilee Special.  If you’d like to make a contribution, please email editor@south-hill.co.uk or call THE NEWS DESK. Ali 07305 044049 or Areina 07788 300025.

Please email editor@south-hill.co.uk or call THE NEWS DESK. Ali 07305 044049 or Areina 07788 300025

Newsletter full version – click here…  and Condensed version here (with no adverts and fewer pictures, for slow internet connections!)

Please tell us what you think of it by contacting editor@south-hill.co.uk

Archived newsletters (all of them!)
can be found in our public Google Drive folder – here…

Some news articles are also posted here as a blog on our News page. The latest will always be at the top. If you want to search for news articles you can do so using the Search box on the right, or by selecting a News Category from the drop-down list.

Business advertisers can be found on our Local Business pageSave

SHARE – Spotlight on Recycling


Thank you

First of all, we’d like to thank our Cornwall Councillor Sharon Daw for a recent grant from her “Community Chest” fund.  We’re having hi-visibility vests made, with our logo on the back, for volunteers.  This will help reduce any risk to our regular volunteers collecting recycling (see below) in various locations; also planting trees, and helping with the firewood project.

SHARE Recycling for Charity project

The project continues to grow, thanks to our enthusiastic volunteers that help monitor collection bins, pick up, sort into boxes and send the vast amount of items to Terracycle every month. By saving these otherwise hard to recycle items from being incinerated, we are generating funds for charities.

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Green Tips for Black Friday (and beyond)


The recent COP26 event in Glasgow has got everybody thinking about how to be “more green”.  While it’s clear that governments around the world need to take action, they aren’t the only ones.  So what can we as individuals do in the meantime? There are heaps of advice and information “out there”, but as my mother used to say, “Enough is as good as a feast”, so here in a nutshell are a few ideas:

Black Friday – not all it’s cracked up to be

(excerpts from an article on the Consumers Association Which? website, Make Black Friday green: Five ways to shop small and buy better

Many winter bargains aren’t as attractive as they first seem.  So is it worth forgoing the shopping frenzy and seeking out smaller, independent shops and more sustainable shopping instead?

Since it caught on in the UK around a decade ago, our enthusiasm for Black Friday has grown exponentially. According to Statista, shoppers spent £7.95 billion over the 2020 Black Friday weekend.

Offers now appear weeks in advance, and many continue well into December.

But not only can the deals sometimes be duds, the November shopping rush can also add to your environmental impact.

If the rush for bargains is leaving you cold, here are our tips to ensure you don’t end up regretting a purchase, plus some alternative ways to shop.

  • Do your research before buying
  • Only buy what you need
  • Spend your money where it makes a difference
  • Buy nothing on Buy Nothing Day, 26 November 2021

The UK Buy Nothing Day campaign began in 2000, with a simple message: Shop less, live more.

You can participate in Buy Nothing Day by literally doing nothing at all. It’s a 24-hour detox from consumerism, and it’s free.

So if you’re determined to avoid over-consumerism and save money this Black Friday, Buy Nothing Day could be the answer.

Read the full article here…

Also, explore the Which? Website for ways to save money while reducing your carbon footprint, and look out for this logo in their many product reviews.

Do you really need a new computer?

With the introduction of Windows 11 coming up shortly, many people will feel they are forced into buying a new laptop or desktop computer. But your old computer may be capable of upgrading – you can find out how to check here…

Machines that can’t upgrade will still be perfectly capable of doing everyday tasks such as browsing the internet, word processing, and playing videos. Before you go out to buy a new machine, have a look at what your requirements are.  Sometimes it may just be a matter of upgrading a component (e.g. a new stick of RAM) instead of buying a whole new machine. If you do need a new machine, then consider donating your old one to someone in need https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/5SqHJMTKZx5sYhlltXJvB1Q/give-a-laptop

Cold Snap – Energy Efficiency

The temperature has dropped by about 10°C in the past few days!  If your house is anything like mine (1980s bungalow!), you’re really feeling the difference, but what can we do about it? Make a note to do some research before taking radical action, but there could be some easy solutions.   Have a look at our SHARE booklet “A Guide to Saving Energy In The Home” for inspiration.

Guide to Saving Energy

South Hill Carbon Footprint

SHARE is revising their carbon footprint analysis from October 2019, and will share the detail in the new year.  Households in South Hill are relatively well-off, with an average carbon footprint roughly twice that of the UK average. So far it is clear that as a parish our main carbon emissions come from heating (mainly oil), groceries and travel.

Heating Is your precious warmth leaking out through windows and doors? Close curtains and doors to keep the heat inside. Turn your thermostat down by 1°C. Can you feel the difference? If so, are you wearing a sweater? If not, go get one! Seriously though, most people wouldn’t notice the one degree difference, and it can result in huge savings, of cash and carbon.

Is your house properly insulated?  It can be difficult and expensive (though not impossible) to retrofit an older property with external or internal insulation, but there are some simpler solutions (e.g. thick curtains, draught excluders, insulation of roof spaces). When the time comes to replace that old fashioned oil boiler, be prepared to consider the greener alternatives.  If your house is well insulated, a ground source or air source heat pump could be the answer, ideally powered by renewable energy (e.g. solar panels). There are currently incentives available from the government, such as Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) and the government’s recently announced heat pump grant scheme.

Groceries Buy your food locally to reduce the amount of food miles, and buy seasonal.  Think rich soups and warming casseroles!  There are many local suppliers that you can buy directly from, for example our advertiser Callington Fresh Produce, or Dupath Farm Shop,  Applejack Barn and Tamar Valley Food Hub.  Meat farmed locally has a much lower carbon footprint than imported meat, so check out for example our advertiser Phil Cole (Coombe Bridge, South Hill), or Chris Rounsevell or Tamar Valley Meats.

Travel Can you reduce your mileage by car sharing, or using public transport?  If it is local, walk or cycle instead of using your car. Consider working from home if you can. Even just working from home for one day a week can make a big change to your annual mileage.  Consider taking a staycation instead of a faraway holiday.

Don’t forget:

TOY SWAP SHOP   19th December, 10.30-14.00 at the Parish Hall, Golberdon.  Find a new home for your pre loved items and swap for something different.   Contact Ali 07305 044049 or email SHARE@south-hill.co.uk   

Full details here…

And finally…
Watch the Eden Project’s call to action for all Earthlings – from world leaders to individual citizens – to come together to create a better future for the planet.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all at SHARE!

SHARE News Bulletin October 2021


SHARE AGM

Our AGM on September 22nd was well attended, firstly at an informal “board report” session outside the Parish Hall, to show what we do and progress made during the past year.  The second, more formal part of the meeting was conducted inside the Hall, and was rounded off with drinks and snacks so that people could continue to chat.

It was especially good to meet and put names to some new faces.  Membership continues to grow and now stands at 109 full members and 77 associate members.

Draft minutes of the meeting are being circulated to members who were present, and will in due course be published on our web page (https://south-hill.co.uk/share/share-member-area/)

Insulation, insulation, insulation!

A well insulated house

There’s a great deal of talk about “retrofit” just now.  Houses built without a high standard of insulation (and this includes many being built at this very moment) can never hope to be truly energy efficient without addressing this problem.  

At the recent Cornwall Home Improvement & Self Build Show at Wadebridge, Sue went with the intention of finding out more about retrofit, but was a bit disappointed to be honest.  There were plenty of stands selling solar PV, air and ground source heat pumps, even MVHR (mechanical ventilation and heat recovery) systems, but besides being expensive to install, without high standards of insulation in homes, these can also be expensive to run.

Sadly, we missed a recent talk given by Kate Royston of TEC (Tamar Energy Community), “Retrofitting your home – What’s this all about?” .  Kate has kindly made available the presentation used for her talk – see attached.  She says costs are coming down all the time, and the ones in the presentation are on the high side.

Kate would be happy to come and talk to our members about this.  Please contact SHARE@south-hill.co.uk if you’d be interested.

Out And About

We’ve been thinking about possible visits to places of interest. 

One example is the tree nursery and a new rainwater harvesting system at Meeth Quarry near Hatherleigh in Devon (https://www.devonwildlifetrust.org/nature-reserves/meeth-quarry)

This Devon Wildlife Trust site has been developed from an old clay quarry whose industrial past has produced a fascinating landscape for wildlife today.  With 150 hectares of nature reserve we should be able to have a good walk and observe abundant wildlife too.

Trebartha, nr Launceston

We’d also like to visit Trebartha, near Launceston, where as well as extensive gardens they have a hydro-power turbine installed in 2015.  Trebartha Estate opens its gardens to visitors through the NGS – National Garden Scheme.  The next open day is in May 2022.

At a recent open day we learned that “water comes from an intake area, through a 1.2km stretch of pipe dropping 90m down to the turbine house.  The turbine is a 4 jet vertical shafted Pelton wheel with a 350kW generator.  It is estimated to generate an average of 1000MWH of energy per year – enough for about 200 homes – which is fed into the national grid.”  Naturally we’re interested in this as it links to our own hydro feasibility study.

There may also be an opportunity for us to learn more about methods of farming which are more in tune with the environment – fans of the Archers may have heard talk of “herbal leys” and such like!  Example: https://www.facebook.com/LeanneBarriballbiz/videos/1033684474135257

If you have any ideas for SHARE visits, please let us know.

Website: www.south-hill.co.uk/SHARE       email: SHARE@south-hill.co.uk 

Unlocking, AGM and Big Green Week


In advance of our SHARE AGM event, to be held at South Hill Parish Hall from 7.30pm on Wednesday September 22nd, we are contacting all members informally.  This message includes important information for members regarding the election of Directors.

As music fans will know all too well, during lockdown all gigs were either cancelled or postponed. At last that situation is changing as we head into ever more freedom. There has been a knock on effect; a lack of available venues, as everyone wants a stage at once.  The SHARE AGM has been affected by the same issues, as we’ve had to postpone last year’s AGM until now. The similarity with your favourite band is that venues have become in huge demand. Our own Parish Hall is seeing a great upsurge in bookings, taking advantage of its refurbishment.

We have hatched a Cunning Plan:  the format of the AGM will change slightly.

This September sees the national Great Big Green Week, (18th to 26th September) and we’ve chosen to hook into that for our Annual General Meeting.

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SHARE – Out and About Again


Lethytep Conservation & Wildlife Haven

In July, Saltash Environmental Action (SEA) arranged a visit to Lethytep for their members, which was publicised in the SEA newsletter.  Seeing this, we asked if some SHARE members could join in and included an invitation in our latest Member email bulletin.  In the end, only four of us were free to go on the trip, so Geoff, Mike, Ali, and Sue joined the lovely SEA members and Philip and Faith Hambly for the afternoon.

Philip and Faith have transformed 52 acres of meadows, lakes and ancient woodland into habitats that they manage for wildlife.  The amazing wildflower and hay meadows are managed the old-fashioned way using only carefully-timed grazing and cutting, resulting in a rich and varied habitat.  Though probably not financially viable as a working farm, Lethytep is a valuable resource for biodiversity and wellbeing and is open to visitors by arrangement and on planned open days in June and July each year.

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Friendly Slimming World Groups


Wednesdays and Fridays

at Callington Methodist Church

Call Luisa on 07972856788 for details

Or message via Facebook…

The past year has been extremely challenging for support groups everywhere, and Slimming World has been no exception.

Some have found this period very difficult (stress and comfort eating); some have actually found it easier (no eating out or socialising over cake); some have concentrated on weight maintenance.  All are glad to be getting “back on the bus” for the sake of their health and wellbeing.

Our lovely consultant Luisa Glinn has worked extremely hard to keep everybody from going off the rails.  She has organised weekly Zoom sessions on Wednesdays and Fridays, and personal messaging and phonecalls for those less comfortable with technology.  Last summer, when we were “unlocked” for a few weeks, we met in a barn on Luisa’s farm so that we could remain socially distanced but still get the help and support we are used to.

We’re flooding back to the Methodist Church schoolroom for our weekly dose of common sense and empathy.  Members who stepped back from Slimming World during the pandemic are being welcomed back, and many new members are joining.  All are welcome, and with luck by the end of June we’ll be able to use the kitchen to make our tea and coffee – exciting times!

Comments from members:

I have absolutely loved groups being back and getting everyone excited about the healthy journey ahead x  Luisa (Consultant)

Lockdown was hard but Luisa was always there for us no matter what.  Karen

Love being back in group with all and getting to share our experiences though lockdown and a big thank you to Luisa for all her support though this difficult year. Wendy

I love being part of the Social Team… keeps me on track… Great to get back to the Scales and see everyone . Fab support as always x   Dawn

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