The beautiful South Hams conceals a guilty secret - over reliance on fossil fuels for both Transport and Energy. Carbon emissions linked to Transport have been calculated for all parishes, wards and districts in the UK (including the South Hams District as a whole) by the Exeter University Impact Tool Kit.

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There is indisputable evidence that:

Rural parishes in the South Hams suffer from gross disconnection to any public transport system causing heavy reliance on private transport.  This accounts for approximately 44 % of our carbon footprint as a whole in the South Hams. Solving this problem should be a priority but there does not appear to be a clear plan at District level to address this. Substantial investment in our public transport network is urgently needed.  

Of the 87,000 residents in the South Hams, 28% are over the age of 65 (24,360) and entitled to free bus passes - but the bus network does not extend to a convenient walking distance from their homes. This group generally make fewer long journeys and would benefit greatly from an improved network to reach local shops and health services.  This would take the risk out of journeys in narrow country lanes with potholes and no street lighting for 24,360 elderly people in the South Hams. If supermarket delivery vans can reach all postcodes…so can public transport!  The SHDC

The lack of investment by SHDC/DCC in public transport infrastructure is being subsidised by poorly-served households who are forced to invest in private transport although their cars are only used on average for one hour per day.

Electric cars and vans help lower fuel costs and  noise pollution, and avoid pumping out harmful pollutants.  SHDC/DCC  can help make electric vehicles (EV) a more attractive option for their residents by installing public charge points as quickly as possible to meet government targets earlier than 2030 .  There are only 34 fast EV charging points in the South Hams, which undermines consumer shift to all-EV cars. The government target for South Hams is 480 EV charging points by 2030.  In view of the fact that the IPCC advises leaders that we have a rapidly closing window and need to take action within the next two years - we need at least 200 new fast EV charging points in the South Hams in 2022 and 2023.  

Our generally affluent lifestyles in the South Hams means that many of us a Frequent Flyers and this accounts for an appalling 36% of our district's carbon emissions attributable to Transport. Greater awareness of the impact of our Transport choices is urgently needed so that our community is better informed to make environmentally sensitive choices.  The Carbon Savvy Carbon Savers Course is available from October 2022 and is a simple yet comprehensive way of raising awareness within community groups and organisations.  The Transition Streets initiative provides a really people-friendly manual for neighbours to use and enables them to find local solutions to issues such as Transport whilst we wait for the Councils to start delivering the investment in infrastructure we desperately need.

Local authorities need to do all they can to encourage residents to travel by cycling, e-bikes and walking, as well as public transport, in order to lower emissions and improve air quality.  Find out how other local councils in the UK are acting to reduce Transport footprints in their region.

News

Sustainable South Hams in 2023

Sustainable South Hams in 2023

Our recent Christmas Celebration gave us the chance to hear about some of your proudest achievements from 2023, and was also a reminder of how much has happened for Sustainable South Hams in the last year! Read on for a round up of where we’re at now, what we’re looking forward to, and the wide range of things we’ve been up to.

December 22, 2023
Change Makers: District Council Corporate Strategy for Climate & Nature

Change Makers: District Council Corporate Strategy for Climate & Nature

Our new Change Makers Gatherings got off to a strong start with an online session discussing South Hams District Council’s new draft Corporate Strategy for Climate & Nature.

October 30, 2023
Keep it Local: A Symposium on Local Selling

Keep it Local: A Symposium on Local Selling

Sustainable South Hams is pleased to be supporting South Hams District Council by facilitating a ‘Keep It Local’ symposium.

October 18, 2023

Groups

Sustainable Marldon

Sustainable Marldon

Less than 5
Volunteers
Informal Network
Project Cost
Holbeton Parish Council Climate Change subcommittee

Holbeton Parish Council Climate Change subcommittee

5-20
Volunteers
Parish Council working group
Project Cost
Totnes Climate Hub

Totnes Climate Hub

We have created a physical climate change response centre on the High Street where people can come to learn about our challenges of climate & ecological breakdown & also find effective ways to respond to these challenges locally with the community.

20-100
Volunteers
Charity
Project Cost

Projects

Engage your Community with a Nature & Climate Fair

Engage your Community with a Nature & Climate Fair

Village summer Fair for South Brent with a focus on sustainability

20+
Volunteers
£5k - £50k
Project Cost
Create Permissive Paths and Wildlife Corridors

Create Permissive Paths and Wildlife Corridors

The Kettlewell Walk includes new trees, path creation, hedging and a picnic area

5-20
Volunteers
£5k - £50k
Project Cost
Connect Communities to Take Practical Carbon Saving Action

Connect Communities to Take Practical Carbon Saving Action

Transition Streets is an award-winning project that brings neighbours together

Volunteers
Project Cost