Welcome to the South Hill Connection Newsletter

A Newsletter produced by and for the Parish of South Hill


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Newsletter number 94, October 2021

Your newsletter with news, events, information, silly stuff, important stuff.  Keep sending your items, photos, history, ANYTHING of interest email editor@south-hill.co.uk. Thank You.

In this edition of the South Hill Connection:

  • Lots of events
  • Parish Party – was a huge success – read all about it
  • Autumnal Apple recipe
  • Bats in the Belfry
  • Autumn in South Hill
  • Church, WI, SHARE & Parish Council updates

And much more…

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

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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 


South Hill Bat Project Update – helping bats and humans share their space

South Hill Bat Project was thrilled to be nominated for an award from the Bat Conservation Trust, for work with Bats in Churches.  Church Warden Miranda Lawrance-Owen stated how affirming this was for the work being done with our bats.

The campaign to help local bats keep the roof over their heads, was launched in August and has had an amazing response. 

An article in the church Times stated:

Just before the £30,000 project to repair the roof began at St Sampson’s, South Hill, in Callington, near Saltash, it was discovered in May that two families of bats, pipistrelles and regionally rare Natterer’s bats, had set up a maternity wing in the roof. Work was suspended for a survey, and subsequent alterations to the plan to accommodate the legally protected animals.

Judith Ayers, project coordinator said:

“The £6,000 target is becoming a reality with £3,700 already secured through our sponsor a bat campaign.  We now have bats named Eeyore, Sampson, Daisy, Brent, Acrobat, Batman and many more.  Supporters are from all around the globe, with intertest as far away as Melbourne!”

There has been welcome support from celebrity Chris Packham, well know naturalist.  He has personally sponsored a bat and named it Botham, as he said in his Tweet “he was quite handy with a bat.”  His support and sharing on his social media has considerably increased the amount raised and the profile of the campaign.

St Sampson’s Church, South Hill where the project is situated, has recently received it’s bat mitigation licence and the urgent roof works have now begin, being sensitive to the resident bats who have finished breeding for this year.  Some bat boxes have been sited to house any bats found in the roof, whilst works are being done, with an ecologist to oversee their safety.

The first bat talk has taken place with local bat expert Tony Atkinson telling the packed church all about the amazing habits of bats.  There was even a special fly by of two bats as he was finishing speaking.  The whole evening was bat themed with bat cakes and crocheted bats to buy.  And to make the evening extra special it was announced that Tony had won an award from the Bat Conservation Trust.   More talks, a bat walk and a bat box building workshop are planned for the spring.

You can donate on our Just Giving page South Hill Bat Project -helping bats and humans share their space. – JustGiving  then send an e mail to stsampsonssouthhill@gmail.com  to receive your certificate or, by sending a cheque made out to ‘The Rector and Church Wardens of South Hill – to Judith Ayers, Southview Barn, 83 Launceston Road, Callington, Cornwall PL17 8DS.

For further details of South Hill Bat Project, helping bats and humans share their space.

 contact Judith Ayers  judithayers@yahoo.co.uk or  St Sampsons Unlocked | Facebook   or  St Sampson’s, South Hill – A Church Near You

Survey – South Hill Community Jubilee Orchard


Welcome to South Hill Community Jubilee Orchard’s participant survey.

This survey will help to inform whether there is enough local support for a new community orchard.

Survey link: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/M6RDR58

South Hill Community Jubilee Orchard

A proposed view of how the community orchard might look

This new space is owned by South Hill Parish Council, near Golberdon, and would be a new area that the local community can access. It will be a joint project between the Council and SHARE.

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Bats in the belfry


Dear Friends at St Sampson’s,

I think you all know the bat situation. The licence application has now been submitted to allow us to do the works planned for the summer and we should be able to do everything starting in October.  This has however left us with an extra cost of £6,000 +.   Therefore we have a new campaign:  

South Hill Bat Project  – helping bats and humans share their space.

This is an opportunity not just to raise money, but to think about how we interact with the wildlife in the churchyard (and church) and make it a community project.  There will be a bat talk event and a bat box making workshop.  Any other ideas will be welcome.  We have recently secured a £1,000 grant from Tamar Valley AONB sustainable development award towards the project.

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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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Rilla Mill 7.5 miler.


7.5 miles from The Manor House Inn at Rilla Mill mainly off road on footpaths.
Go down over the bridge and take the road Left. Follow this to the junction and turn Right.
Just past the houses spot the footpath going up steps on the Left and though a pedestrian gate.
Continue straight ahead to the gate with stile and straight through the next field. Depending on the time of year there will be crops or stock. At the end of July the corn was shimmering a rainbow of colours.
Caradon Mast is infront of you, Cheesering and Sharp Tor on your right.
The path goes over an old style metal stile and follows the hedge on your right around to a stony track and out onto a road. Turn Left. This group of houses is Sutton.
At the T junction turn Left down to Ley Mill and by the stream, Turn Right onto the Marked footpath, through a metal gate and straight ahead over a stile into the wood.
Follow the marked path keeping up at the 1st fork and then down at the 2nd, until you come to a set of steps leading up to the road leading to Upton Cross. Take care and cross over and see the footpath continuing by a gate.
Follow this path as it goes straight then over a stile, winds right and left, over a footbridge, up steps and brings you to a stile into a field. Head diagonally across the field to the top corner, stopping to admire the views behind you of Kit Hill and more, before hopping over the stile into the road. (Upton Cross to Minions)
Turn Right downhill briefly and turn Left at Dunsley, the footpath sign shows to Burning House.
Follow the concrete drive (a couple fields) until you see a footpath sign directing you on the left.
Follow the hedge on your right to the corner and over a stile into a grass field and straight on to a gate, we climbed over as it was tied up.
There were cows, sheep and a pony here but none paid us much attention.
Keep Right, aim to a gate on the far side. Once through this gate, aim diagonally Right through another gate.
There is well defined path on your right, take this and keep right, following the hedge/wall and keep going down and all the way down to the stream and impressive water wheel pit.
Back track to the main path and go right parallel with the stream, passing buddles and lots of mining remains.
This path emerges onto a stone track. Turn Right, take the footbridge over the stream and continue up onto the road to Henwood. Instead of taking the road, spot the path that goes off to the right and take this through the trees.
You’ll eventually arrive at Henwood whichever route you take and you’ll probably sit on the granite seat and look in the phone box library. Then continue off to the left, signposted Kingbeare, up past the old church and Turn Right.
Follow this lane then track then path. Note the granite post marked CCC. This well defined footpath winds right, through a metal gate and across fields onto a lane, emerging at North Darley.
Take care crossing the road signposted Lower Lake Shooting Grounds. Follow the road past the Caradon Observatory on your right, and take the 1st Left to Treovis (not signposted). ( if you stay on the road you’ll come to a junction, Right will take you directly back to Rilla Mill. Left will take you to Starrabridge)
Coming up into the group of houses at Treovis, turn Right and if you see someone ask permission to take the shortcut to Starrawoods and they’ll hopefully direct you. If no one is about an unofficial route is …. take the right fork through a gate and gravel drive and garage, drop down beside a shed, through a low wall and scramble down the bank onto a well kept path. Follow this down, keeping to the widest path and down to the river Inney and eventually to a spectacular foot bridge.
Cross here, turn Right and follow to Starra Bridge.
Turn Right to go over the bridge, then immediately Left over a stile and follow the river.
Stay on the path, eventually it climbs up some steps to the road.
Turn Left and follow the road back to Rilla Mill, left over the bridge and the The Manor is on the Right.
They serve great food (meals and snacks) and drinks here.

If you spot any errors with this description please email editor@south-hill.co.uk Thank you

Soil Samples for Mining Company


Deep Digital Cornwall and Cornwall Resources: Regional fieldwork supporting university research and data hub.
Over the next few months, you may meet field teams from Cornwall Resources (CRL) working in the local area. This work is being conducted as part of Deep Digital Cornwall, a £4.1m project comprising a consortium of regional companies and research bodies, led by the University of Exeter’s Camborne School of Mines (CSM), in which CRL and Cornish Lithium are delivery partners. The project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), and the UK Government. The objective of this work is to generate an open-source sub-surface data set to use as demonstration data at a new ‘Digital Hub’ being built at the Camborne School of Mines (at the University of Exeter’s Penryn Campus). The resultant data will be of relevance to end-users including in the farming, environmental, and mineral exploration fields, as well as for scientific research and general interest. A brochure on the project is available at https://deepdigitalcornwall.org

CRL are helping to deliver work in the area to the west of Kelly Bray, including in the parish of South Hill and Callington and Kelly Bray. Work is small-scale and low impact and consists of soil sampling and analysis, and a gravity survey. The soil sampling involves collection of small (<500 g) soil samples with a hand-held powered auger, from depths of 40-80 cm below the surface. These samples are then analysed for over 50 elements. Gravity measurements are non-intrusive, and carried out using an instrument that measures the earth’s gravitational force at a given point with a high degree of precision. By combining this with accurate topographic data, variations in gravity can be modelled, allowing interpretation of sub-surface variations in geology, such as the presence of a granite, or the presence of underground voids.

Two teams are working outdoors, in all weather, to collect soil samples and gravity measurements. The teams are composed of three graduate geoscientists gaining vital early career work experience, and one local resident trying his hand at something new. Landowners will be contacted to request permission for land access, and to ensure that any impacts, for example on stock movements, are limited.

All data collected under the Deep Digital Cornwall project will be made open-source, available to anyone interested, including farmers, other land users and local residents.
Further information on the above can also be found on the Cornwall Resources website: https://www.cornwallresources.com/deep-digital-cornwall

Cornwall Resources remains focussed on Redmoor, near Kelly Bray, where it has been working since 2017, and where it has met with considerable success – defining a world-class underground tungstentin-copper resource. However, the company is pleased to be able to facilitate the Deep Digital Cornwall work, which will put their already-discovered deposit into regional context, and show that Cornwall is at the cutting edge of earth data collection and interpretation.
If you see our teams at work in the field, feel free to say hello. If you would like more information, or would like to be informed when the data is released, please do not hesitate to contact Jeff Harrison by email jharrison@strategicminerals.net or on 07403 568770.
Jeff Harrison
Non-Executive Director Strategic Minerals Ltd.
July 26th 202