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News

‘Yellow Fish’ down the road drain? (13/01/16)

As our summer events pebble poll showed us – many people don’t realise that most of our road drains rightly drain the rainwater straight to the nearest watercourse – whether that be the local pond, stream, river, estuary or beach.
In a perverse action of being ‘tidy’ road drains are all too frequently used as disposal units for litter, cigarette stubs* and worse. People wouldn’t dream of so directly polluting the waterways that bring us such joy but that’s exactly what’s happening!

Salcombe Harbour Head Hanger (13/01/16)

As part of Salcombe Harbour’s continuing work to improve local water quality, the Harbour is handing out ‘Head* Hangers’ to visiting yachts, as a reminder of the local facilities and best practise.
The Salcombe Harbour – Kingsbridge estuary is a renowned quiet watersports designation and it is obviously very much in everyone’s interest to look after the water so that they can enjoy it downstream.

The Head Hanger has been funded as part of a South Devon Catchments Partnership local project.

Andy is new AONB Partnership Committee Chairman (13/01/16)

Andy Pratt  has been appointed as the new Chairman of the South Devon AONB Partnership Committee. Andy is Head of Centre at Slapton Ley Field Studies Centre in the heart of the AONB. and has a broad range of experience in management, environmental education and partnership working. Andy has been a member of the Partnership Committee since 2012 representing the education sector. The Partnership Committee takes a strategic view of the area, publishes the AONB Management Plan and oversees the work of the AONB Staff Unit.

The South Devon Coastal LAG is open for your business (04/01/16)

South Devon Coastal Local Action Group (LAG) is a partnership originally set up in 2008 to invest in economic, environmental and community based projects to encourage innovation and promote the prosperity of the rural coastal area between Plymouth and Exeter.

The programme has now been awarded just over £1.5 million to allocate to projects in the area that meet the objectives of the strategy.

The focus of this next rural programme will be creating jobs and helping the rural economy to grow.

A fruitful partnership: Growing Orchard Communities in South Devon: (08/12/15)

Orchard Link has secured a grant of £40,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an exciting project to revitalise community orchards in South Devon and support and sustain the groups who are looking after them.

Orchard Link, a voluntary group made up of committed local orchard owners, is working with South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Unit to deliver this two year project.

Success for Beaches (10/11/15)

All 17 beaches in the  South Hams  district have met new European standards for bathing water quality, with 10 of those rated  excellent.

The new standards set by the recent European Union's Bathing Water Directive, replace current water testing regulations first introduced in 1976.  From November 2015, bathing waters are classified as either excellent, good, sufficient or poor, with the water quality standards for the new classifications being much higher than those of the original bathing waters standards.

A community based wood fuel hub for South Devon? (04/11/15)

The South Devon Coastal Renewable Energy Network (SDCREN) has secured funding from the Regen SW Community Energy Accelerator Devon County Council fund. The funding will help investigate and initiate the first building blocks of a local wood fuel hub where local farmers, land owners and the community can work together to source affordable wood fuel , boost the local economy and create employment.

Rare bats win lottery boost (22/10/15)

A project which is working to secure a future for one of Europe’s most endangered bat species has been awarded £707,000 of support by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The Devon Greater Horseshoe Bat Project will now work for the next five years across the county to secure a better future for the rare animal. The project is being led by the conservation charity Devon Wildlife Trust in a partnership involving 18 other organisations including the South Devon AONB.

Avon Valley Facilitation cash (13/10/15)

A project application submitted by the South Devon AONB  on behalf of a strong partnership of local land management advisors, supporting 86 land holdings  and  covering 5000 hectares in the Avon Valley, has been successful in securing European funding. Members will be supported by training and advice from a Facilitation Team over the next five years focusing on developing co-operation amongst land managers.

An Outstanding Week in September! (02/09/15)

September has always been an outstanding month in our countryside with harvests being brought safely home, trees and meadows taking on their autumnal colours, skies offering a full palette of hues, musky bonfires lingering in the evening air and a more general welcoming calmness for visitors.

September this year, however, promises to be even more outstanding! The UK’s AONB Family has come together to organise a 10 day programme of events to help people enjoy and be inspired by the UK’s Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs). Starting on Saturday 19th September and continuing through to Sunday 27th September, the events can be found on

Outstanding events

Salcombe Bioblitz 27th -28th September (18/06/15)

We are excited to announce that we are supporting the Marine Biological Association  Bioblitz this year that will take place from North Sands, Salcombe on the 27th and 28th of September. The 2015 event is a partnership of the South Devon AONB, MBA and AMBIOS. There will be a marquee this year as our Basecamp from which there will be timetabled walks and activities.

The event will begin at 11:00 Sunday and run until 14:30 Monday. Both days will be open to the public with local schools and groups being invited to join us on Monday.

‘So much more than the view…’ (18/06/15)

England’s finest landscapes contribute more than £20bn each year to our economy – similar to that of Birmingham, according to a new report. The publication ‘So much more than the view…’ from England’s Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and National Parks, highlights the wide range of benefits these iconic areas provide to society. 

Rightly regarded as a treasured national resource and internationally recognised for their special qualities, they provide a base for businesses that rely on a high quality environment; creative and sporting inspiration; homes for people and wildlife; food and drink; and life enhancing experiences for millions of visitors of all ages.

Jonathan Dimbleby chairs Neptune debate (16/06/15)

The annual conference was held at the magnificant Grade 1 Listed Lupton House near Brixham. Our  keynote speaker David Ford from the National Trust examined the achievements of the Neptune Campaign since its launch in 1965. Almost half of the coastline in the AONB is now owned by The National Trust.

There was a lively debate about what the future holds for Neptune and we were most grateful to our Patron Jonathan Dimbleby for chairing this debate so admirably. The event was also  an opportunity to hear about current and future projects and to receive a copy of the 2014-15 Annual Review.