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A Newsletter produced by and for the Parish of South Hill


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Newsletter number 96, December 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.

Wishing all our readers a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

In this edition of the South Hill Connection:

  • St Sampson’s Bell Project & Sponsored Walk
  • South Hill Connection AGM Report
  • Join in with South Hill Piecemakers
  • Christmas Craft Fairs & New Year Quizzes
  • Climate Change Working Group – first meeting report
  • Wildflower planting in recreation field
  • Latest from the Church, WI, & Parish Council

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 Hydro – update


By now, we had expected to have a live website, updated continuously, showing the potential of the Lansugle stream to provide a small scale generation scheme .

Back in 2020, SHARE volunteers had already completed the metalwork for the measurement weir and reinforced the banks along the short stretch of the stream that suffered flooding in November 2019’s torrent. We completed putting in place a 65mm (2 ½ inch) high weir ready to use the electronics to measure the fall over it. We’d checked in the Environment Agency’s guidance that a measurement weir didn’t need any additional permission. But for reasons unknown to us the Environment Agency took an interest in our work, and sent a fisheries expert to take a close look, and we were then advised that changing the flow from turbulent to smooth along the weir structure (just three feet long) would contravene the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act. It turns out that we would need at least three extra items: a salmon ladder, an eel pass and a supplementary licence, the application fee for which is an additional £1500!

The impact of the Environment Agency intervention was that the metal weir structure had to be removed. This was done quickly and the site completely restored to the state that it has been in for the past 50 years. The purpose of the metal weir was to straighten and smooth the water, resulting in “laminar flow” over a clean edge. This, in conjunction with a water depth measurement system, would have enabled flow over the weir to be very easily calculated, with little manual intervention. It would in fact have been possible to monitor the flow closely over a 12 months period, in a fully automated way. Occasional site visits would have been necessary to ensure that the metal channel and weir remained clear of obstructions such as branches and other debris.

But we’re determined to complete what we originally set out to do; it’s just that we had to find a method that meets these additional regulations. We still want to characterise the catchment area and stream flow, throughout the year – even on a weekly basis. We also want to be able to assess the power generation potential of small streams such as this one, and so put ourselves in a better position to be able to subjectively judge alternative potential power generation sites. Consequently, we have purchased a small water turbine flow meter and started to measure flow with this equipment on a regular basis. The site has concrete piers that were used in the distant past to provide the greater head of water needed to drive a water pump. These piers provide an area that constrains the flow and makes it relatively easy to carry out a matrix of flow speed measurements. Although it is still early days, we are gathering some interesting results.

We have already seen that flow can vary widely in a short space of time. In the dry weeks of November, the flow would only have been sufficient to generate around 1kW of electricity. In early December, following heavy rain, 6kW electricity generation would have been possible. 6kW round the clock, entirely independent of wind or sunshine would be a very valuable local generation capacity – equivalent to the average energy used to power around 15 homes.

COUNTRY RAMBELL


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
4, 71/2 or 10 miles routes available, transport support along the way
Unique experiences as we cross fields not usually accessable, bell ringing, lavender field, private property, Polhilsa , Whiteford Temple….
Dogs on leads and children under control at all times.

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!

TOY SWAP


Find a new home for your pre loved items and swap for something different. Declutter your good condition items and drop them off ahead of time at Green Meadows. Contact Ali 07305 044049 or email SHARE@south-hill.co.uk Thank you.

Frogwell Family Fight for Food Allergen Changes


Owen’s Law – campaigning for better allergy information in restaurants

A campaign has been launched, which calls for a sensible change in the law on allergy labelling in restaurants following the tragic death of 18-year-old Owen Carey from anaphylaxis on 22 April 2017. Owen’s father, Paul Carey describes why it is necessary

Owen Carey had just turned 18 and was celebrating his birthday with family members and his girlfriend on a day out in London on 22 April 2017. He had suffered with multiple food allergies all his life and was well used to ordering meals to fit his restricted diet when in restaurants. For lunch that day, Owen ordered a grilled chicken burger at a Byron Burger restaurant, which, having explained his allergies to the server, and having no other information on the menu to the contrary, he was assured would be “plain grilled” and therefore safe for him to eat.

However, the chicken had in fact been marinated in buttermilk, to which Owen was highly allergic. He only ate a small amount as he could tell immediately that something was wrong. His breathing became more and more restricted, and he was using his asthma inhaler constantly as he and his girlfriend journeyed to London’s South Bank for what was supposed to be the second half of Owen’s celebratory day. Forty-five minutes later, having arrived at the London Eye, Owen collapsed, having suffered a massive anaphylactic reaction. Paramedics and a team at St Thomas’ Hospital tried everything they could but were unable to resuscitate him.

His family, led by me, are now calling for a change in the law surrounding how allergy information is displayed and given in restaurants in the UK. They hope that a simple change in labelling and better staff training will prevent any future needless deaths of people with food allergies.

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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