About us


The River Yealm & District Association Committee welcomes you to the RYDA website.

This is an exciting new venture for us because until now we have only been able to offer a page on someone else’s website.

Our own site will not just allow us to provide much more information to our Members, but we will also be able to offer a very useful facility for the much wider community. This could be by providing more general local information but also in providing links to local clubs and societies etc.

We also aim to provide a single electronic community diary and, maybe, an interactive booking system for local facilities where these do not currently exist. The potential is almost endless.

If we are to achieve all this, it does require your support and ideas. If you think of any ways that this website can be improved or extended, please tell us. The contact details of the Committee are given below.

The RYDA Committee

First, if you are new to the River Yealm & District Association (RYDA), we will tell you a bit about ourselves.

The Beginnings

The RYDA was probably formed in 1955. We cannot be entirely sure because the very first Minutes have not survived. The earliest Minutes we do have are from early 1956 and record a meeting on 30th August 1955 and hint that this was the inaugural meeting. It is a pity that we will never know the precise date of our formation, but we do know that we have been active in the community for over 60 years. We became a Registered Charity (No 262929) in 1971.

You may be interested to read about some of the issues we got involved with in those early days at RYDA History

Our Aims

We were set up originally as partly an amenity group, partly a residents’ association and partly as a conservation group. Those broad aims continue to this day. Our key Objectives are: ·

  • To preserve the natural beauties of the tidal waters of the River Yealm and the surrounding countryside and villages, and to protect structures of architectural or historic interest and the character of areas of such interest.

  • To maintain and seek to improve the amenities and services of the district.

If you want to know more, go to Rules of the Association


Membership is open to every adult resident of one of the Parishes in the immediate vicinity of the tidal waters of the Yealm. In practice, this means the Parishes of Newton and Noss, Wembury, Brixton and Yealmpton. Membership is by household not by individual. Our membership currently stands at over 300 households, most of which are in Newton and Noss.

If you are not a member and wish to join, go to Joining the RYDA 

Who we are

Our Rules provide for a Committee of up to 8 Members. The current Committee is:




Rotating Chair

Alan Lomax

Treasurer &

Membership Secretary

Alan Lomax


Co-Opted Member (Directory)

Peter Faulkner

Member (Website)

Lesley Dempsey


Christopher Lunn


Chris Bradley

Co-Opted Member

Suzanne Sparrow


(Parking Study)

Robin Forrester

Election of Committee Members takes place at the AGM in April

each year.

For Minutes of Committee Meetings and the AGM go to RYDA Minutes

What we do

The aims of the Association are sufficiently broad that we get involved in a wide range of activities to benefit the community.  Here are some examples:


We try to publish about 10 Newsletters each year.  For obvious practical reasons, we can only distribute to those Members who have provided an email address (currently over 250 households).  The Newsletters provide up-to-date items of local interest and almost inevitably include a major section on current planning applications.  This initiative was launched in 2013 and you can read a selection of previous editions at Newsletters.


Responsibility for commenting on planning applications within the Parish lies with the Parish Council as it is the community’s formal statutory consultee.  However, the RYDA has its own voice.  There are about 100 applications each year and we do not have the capacity to review all of them and so we only consider those that are, in our view, of sufficient importance to the community as a whole to draw the application to the attention of our Members.  Because of time constraints, we can only do this via our Newsletter and, of course, by informal word of mouth.  Further details of the way we do this are on our Planning page 

•Village Directory

The RYDA is responsible for publishing and maintaining the Village Directory, often referred to as “The Blue Book”.  To all intents and purposes, this is our local telephone directory.  The current edition was published in 2015 and is provided free to all RYDA Members.  For more details, go to Village Directory

GDPR & You

Brookings Down Wood, Eastern Hill Wood & Court Woodland

The RYDA is very privileged to be able to manage two woods which we lease from The Woodland Trust.  Both are in Noss and are managed by an enthusiastic management sub-committee.  We also own and manage Court woodland, in Newton Ferrers, which was purchased by with the aid of donations. More details are at Woodlands

•Harbour Clean Up

For many years, the RYDA has organised the annual harbour clean-up in the Spring to clear the harbour, river and banks of all the rubbish that gets blown in over the winter months or gets dropped in the water by water-users. 

The clean-up is currently organised by Andrew Beveridge who is always delighted to hear from new volunteers.  Contrary you what you may think, the clean-up can be a social day out which demonstrates the community at its best.  Andrew can be contacted on 873351 or beveridgeandy@gmail.com. 


How we are funded

The RYDA is funded principally from 2 sources: 

  • membership fees (£2.50 per year per household or £10 in advance for 5 years);

  • and the sale of the Village Directory to non-members (£5 per copy). 

In addition, we receive a grant of approx £80 per year from the Parish Council and the River Yealm Harbour Authority to cover the insurance costs of the harbour clean-up.

Our major expenditure by a long way is the printing cost of the Village Directory.  We are very fortunate that Luscombe Maye funded the entire cost of the 2015 edition and has agreed to do so for the next edition.

We do not wish to needlessly build up funds and so, as a result of Luscombe Maye’s generosity, we have had sufficient funds recently to support local initiatives in a modest way. For example, we provided a grant of £1,500 to the Newton & Noss Neighbourhood Plan and a further £1,000 to the Post Office Action Group which has helped to save the Community Shop and Post Office.

Copies of our recent accounts can be seen at Accounts.   

The River Yealm and District


Registered Charity No. 262929