Pitcombe is a small, attractive, rural parish embracing the three hamlets of Cole, Hadspen and Pitcombe – its boundaries are shown at Annex C. The parish lies between Castle Cary and Bruton and not far distant from Wincanton, featuring mainly farmland, orchards and open countryside. The parish is traversed by a number of footpaths as well as two rivers, the Brue and the Pitt. There are many historic buildings. The population of around 500 is divided between some 200 homes. There are two independent and one state secondary schools that serve some residents within their catchment but others rely on the outlying schools. Nearly half of the residents are economically active and approaching 20% are retired.
The parish has three light industrial businesses – a quarry, a car repair shop and a wholesale plant nursery which, together with the schools, provide some limited employment for the resident population. There are some bed & breakfast facilities, a tea room, a weddings and hospitality company and a developing tourist attraction at Hadspen House and others in adjacent parishes, notably Haynes Motor Museum and Hauser & Wirth art centre, all of which add to the attraction of the area for tourists.
The special country landscape and generally peaceful nature of the parish are important to residents, many of whom value very highly the quality of life this brings. The parish is fortunate in having an active parish church, village hall, parish magazine, Flood Action Group in Pitcombe, and social calendar, which help to provide focus and a spirit of community. However, these will need to adapt to the changing needs of residents, alongside the formal services provided by the local authority, if they are to continue to have an effective role. As well as this it is recognised that the parish cannot be totally insulated from change and must play its part in supporting the communities in the surrounding area and Somerset as a whole.
There are no shops or other amenities or services, so the residents rely on the surrounding market towns for access to these, including health related, banking, postal and emergency services. A close working relationship between the parish and the surrounding towns is therefore essential.