Category Archives: Events

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.

Community Walk March 27th


Sunday Morning Meander  5 miles or less, on parish lanes and fields

Dogs on leads welcome and children under control, plus Mums on Mothers Day. Some stiles need climbing.

Starting at South Hill church Sunday March 27th 10:45am

We aim to be back by 1pm, Bring your own drink.

All welcome, a chance to catch up with each other and have fun.

We’ll take the Bray Shop road to the entrance of Treven and turn left crossing fields to Baddaford, a short road walk towards St. Mellor’s church tower, at Linkinhorne, turning onto the footpath and aim at the wind turbine, striding over the stream and up to Mornick. Here we’ll take the road back towards the church and those that want a 2 ½ mile walk can continue back.

Otherwise we’ll be crossing fields and stiles to Trewassick then dropping down over the stream and up the other side, staying on the footpaths to Trewoodloe. Here we’ll head for Golberdon .. the last opportunity to cut the walk short.

We’ll take the “main” road for a short distance before taking fields to Manaton then the road to the final leg and final footpath from Tregate passing The Old School and returning to the church.

Rilla Mill 6 miles ish walk with Russ


Saturday 19th February Start/Finish  :  The Manor Inn, Rilla Mill

Distance  :  6 miles plus  predominantly along footpaths

10:00  Departure  I anticipate this a 3 hour 30 min walk

Dogs welcome, expect dogs to be on leads.

Route  : Rilla Mill  –  Ley Mill  –  Phoenix United Mine  –  Henwood  – North Darley  –  Starra Woods  – Rilla Mill

Note : Parking either at the pub if you intend to make use of it upon your return; or, The Village Hall which is on the right going down hill towards the pub if you are not going to The Manor.

Donation to Royal British Legion at the end.

Russ Hanson russhanson@live.co.uk

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

COUNTRY RAMBELL for the Church BELLS


Wear or carry bells and raise funds for St Sampson’s bells fund to rehang & ring the church bells.
RAMBELL starts South Hill church Dec. 11th 9:30am
Unique experiences as we cross fields not usually allowed, bell ringing, tower climbing, lavender field, private property, Polhilsa , Whiteford Temple….
Dogs on leads and children under control at all times.

We had a great time on the walk and raised lots of money > St Sampson’s Historic bells – JustGiving , raised awareness and raised our spirits !! THANK YOU to everyone that made it such a success.

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!