Work began today on the Windsor Road gate

Our maintenance team turned up in force this morning under the leadership of Chris Bulpett to begin work on the new gate. They are going to move the original gate back and add a kissing gate as well so that pedestrians can access the field again at last.

Here they are arriving…
Carrying equipment in
Working out where everything is to go.

Thank you everyone

There are so many people we would like to thank, and we hope you all know how grateful we are. We have been very quiet since the announcement made on June 20th for several reasons. The photograph below shows some of you in the field on the day of the announcement.

One reason for being quiet is that – frankly – we have worked very hard for nearly six years (since we heard the news in September 2015 that Manning’s Pit was for sale) and we needed a break.

Another reason was that there remained some problems to sort, most especially the access into Manning’s Pit from Windsor Road. This problem has now been resolved and, as soon as our volunteer maintenance team are back from their holidays, work will begin on a proper entrance, so that – at long last – there will be easy pedestrian access there again.

Thirdly, and perhaps most important, we don’t need to be in a hurry. Throughout our campaign, the message has always been that we want to keep Manning’s Pit as it is, a part of our rural heritage, allowing access for the public at the same time as protecting the wildlife.

We will need to raise an amount of money going forward, to cover various costs such as Insurance, but this will be nothing like the amount we needed to raise before. With Covid still around, especially in Pilton and North Devon, we are taking this carefully too, and while we long to start up our Coffee Mornings again, we are being careful for the moment. All suggestions are welcome, as are volunteers, so if you would like to be more involved, email us at

Here we are under the Yeo Dale Banner

L to R: Clare, Helen, Chris, Jane, Cerys, Harit, John, Christine, Kate, Sarah, Tim, ? Paul, Sarah and Paul’s son, Wendy, Mark, Asha, Paul, Karen.
Thanks to Chris and Lynda for the addition to the banner saying Purchased. And so very many thanks to Sarah and Paul for allowing us to hang our banner on their hotel balcony.

More to come

Here are some photos from the Windsor Road gate:

Chris Bulpett our new head of maintenance is freeing the gate. Chair of the group Christine Lovelock gives encouragement.
People prepare to walk though the entrance (rather than climbing the gate) for the first time in nearly 6 years. Clare who is holding the flag previously,carried a Save Manning’s Pit flag to the Arctic, Iceland and Greenland.
Supporters enter the field (ignore the yellow numbers as they are out of sequence) Chris with the collie ran our amazingly successful Dog Show. Tansy the girl with the pink shoes won our Children’s Art Competition.

The Broomhill Estate

We are very excited to announce that the Broomhill Estate are sponsoring two extra prizes for our Saki Short Story Competition. These will both be local prizes, one for the best entry from a resident of North Devon, the second for the best entry from a resident of Pilton and Bradiford, the villages where Saki lived as a boy.

Bradiford Water, close to Manning’s Pit bridge.

As entries close on June 30th, make sure you don’t leave it too late to send in your story! Full details of how to enter are on our website,

The Broomhill Hotel and Sculpture Gardens are very well known locally, and Bradiford Water, the river that winds through these gardens, continues down the Bradiford Valley, through Blakewell, along beside Tutshill Woods, and across to Manning’s Pit. We believe this small river was in Saki’s mind when he wrote one of his most famous stories, Shredni Vashtar, and we like to think that the little plank bridge in the story is the one that is now known as the Manning’s Pit bridge.

Here is a link to more information about the Broomhill Estate: