Category Archives: General Interest

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.

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.”

Pooh Sticks!


SHARE Hydro Feasibility Update, March 2022

Regular readers will remember earlier articles describing our initial investigations into the potential of water turbines. For the benefit of newer readers, those investigations involved installing a measurement weir structure, however this unfortunately came to a premature end when the Environment Agency took an active interest. Temporary measurement weirs are permitted, however in this instance the EA considered that expensive licences would be needed, and that special provisions would have to be put in place to enable eels and migrating fish to move upstream unhindered.  To our knowledge, eels and migrating fish haven’t been seen in this tributary of the Lynher in living memory, however the possibility that Samantha Salmon might take a wrong turn and find her path obstructed was enough to keep the good folk at the EA awake at night. Also, the required licences were unaffordable, and so the measurement weir had to go. Continue reading

Emergency Information and Links


What can we learn from Storm Eunice? If there is a Weather Warning:

Inside

  • Fully charge your computers, phones etc. ahead of time. Remember you can use your car to charge these, make sure you have the correct adaptors.
  • Fill a flask.
  • If your water is pumped, ensure you have sufficient stored water.
  • Buy torches, candles, matches and batteries in advance and get them out.
  • If you expect a power cut (storm / high winds) or if there is lightning in the area, turn off your PC and other delicate electrical items because a power surge can damage them.
  • Switch off your appliances, so they do not start working in the event you’re out when the power comes back on.
  • If the power goes off, try to limit opening the freezer and fridge.  
  • If the power goes off, keep warm by wrapping up in extra layers of clothes, blankets, duvets etc.
  • Please stay safe, do not put yourself or others at risk by using unsafe forms of heat e.g. barbeques and patio gas stoves indoors.
  • Have emergency numbers to hand.  
  • Western Power have posted details to affected homes outlining the process for automatic compensation, without any requirement to make individual claims.
    • Storm Eunice was a category 2 storm so:
      • After the first 48 hours without power you are eligible for £70 compensation.
      • There will then be another £70 for every further 12 hours.
      • All eligible customers will receive a letter and a compensation payment based on the eligibility criteria set by Ofgem.
      • You should receive that within ten working days.

Western Power Distribution – Storm Eunice: Ofgem’s Guaranteed Standards Compensation Scheme

Outside

  • Store and secure outside items so they do not become a danger to you or to others.
  • Take care of your pets, keep indoors if possible. If shutting chickens in etc., ensure they have ventilation, food and water.  
  • Be flood aware and find out how to prepare. If your home starts to flood call the Environment Agency on 0345 988 1188 (24 hour).
  • Collect your medications and essential supplies beforehand so you don’t need to travel.
  • Avoid travel, unless absolutely necessary.
  • If you do have to make a journey be prepared:
    • Take extreme care.
    • Take coat, sturdy boots and warm clothes in case you break down or have to leave your vehicle.
    • Expect road closures and disruption due to fallen trees and debris.
    • Expect road damage and hedges to be collapsed.
    • Expect falling tiles / branches / trees and flying debris.
    • Expect difficult driving conditions e.g. strong winds and driving rain.
  • Rail and bus services were disrupted, always check before leaving home.
  • Please stay safe and do not do anything to put yourself or others at risk.

Communication

  • If you receive The CONNECTION newsletter we can send updates by email, if you are not signed upsend your email to editor@south-hill.co.uk
  • Facebook, Next Door, Twitter etc.
  • Contact your neighbours:
    • To establish whether your issue is an isolated case.
    • To look out for and check on vulnerable neighbours.
  • Postal and rubbish collection services were disrupted. Please safely store your rubbish for next collection.
  • If you find yourself in a situation where you believe you are in danger, call 999.
  • Please contact NHS 111 first, unless you have a serious or life-threatening injury or illness.
  • Cornwall Council’s emergency line is: 01872 323752 Offers support and advice and passes specific needs on to other agencies or departments.
  • Cornwall’s 24/7 NHS Mental Health support line 0800 038 5300 FREE 24 hour, if you’re worried about your own or someone else’s mental health..
  • Report a fallen tree blocking a road or causing danger. Inform the owner, one of our parish councilors or call Cornwall Council on 0300 1234 222 (24 hour), or  www.cornwall.gov.uk/report-something/
  • If the tree has pulled down / damaged cables / poles these could be live. Do NOT touch them. Contact Western Power Distribution.

Call 105 or 0800 678 3105 105, www.westernpower.co.uk, info@westernpower.co.uk.

  • Home flooding – call the Environment Agency on 0345 988 1188 (24 hr). Report flooding to the Environment Agency Incident hotline 0800 80 70 60 (24hr).

Please email and let us know if we missed anything, your thoughts, your suggestions, any other comments or concerns to editor@south-hill.co.uk.

Thank You. Stay Safe.

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…

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