Is ‘Mannings Pit’ a Pothole or a Paradise?
By Jane Gear
I have been totally mystified for a very long time now, by all the signs around the Pilton area saying ‘Save Mannings Pit’.
So I decided to go in search of this mysterious place, to see for myself what it is that so many people wish to save.
I embarked on a walk down through a wooded rocky path with a small ravine running alongside it.
Although I did find out later, that there is another all together easier way to enter this hidden place.
The trees lining each side of the shaded path, made the usual dappled patterns with shafts of brilliant sunlight cutting through the shade.
As I descended, not far away, on my left, was the constant rumble of construction work, as new builds were quickly nibbling into the beautiful rolling green Devon hillside.
As I reached the bottom of the path, the canopy above suddenly opened, and spectacularly presented a lush green valley.
A winding river lazily meandering through the green pastureland.
A huge tree stood between two bridges spanning to the other side of the water, one of wood, the other of stone.
The atmosphere was full of imprints, holding memories of past generations meeting in this special spot, enjoying picnics on the grassy banks , watching happy children giggling as they climbed from the chilly waters.
A rope swing dangled from a tall tree a little way further along the water, adding to the feeling of togetherness and fun that this place has seen.
Peaceful, natural, the way things should be, and always have been.
I met a lady walking, and she told me stories about Mr Manning, a local businessman who used to own the land, and a colourful character he sounded too.
His memory lives on in this beautiful place.
The ‘friends of Mannings pit’, in my mind are to be admired.
They are not swampies living in the trees, are not chaining themselves to machinery or stretching out along the road to stop progress.
They are acting in a positive manner, working steadily together with the same proposed destination in mind.
Trying to save Mannings Pit for others to enjoy.
They need enough money to buy a small field which cushions Mannings Pit from the ever encompassing construction works.
They simply wish to preserve this haven of latter times for all who live around it to enjoy, whether from the old housing, the new housing, or even further afield.
This kind of oasis is so very needed in these modern times.
Especially so, as we go through Covid, and re learn that such places are of even more importance to us.
We need green spaces, room to relax, run free, feel at one with nature and recharge our weary souls.
Re live our childhoods through the eyes of our children.
Watch our dogs laughing as they run through the wind.
We need places like this now, even more so than the generations who came along before us did…
I was very much taken with the beauty of Mannings Pit, with the feeling of community and togetherness that it represents, and would dearly love to see it saved for generations to come.
I truly hope that this space may be saved, that a generous benefactor may come forward, and be willing to add sufficient to the steadily growing pot, which would enable the friends of Mannings Pit to save this little piece of paradise for all of our sakes.
By doing this, the gift of beauty, space and enjoyment could be gifted for all those who wish to find it, before it is tragically lost to everyone forever.
Anyone willing to make a donation can visit https://manningspit.com or call 01271 376594 or 07812 704694 for more information.
This was sent by Jane to the North Devon Journal