Our Next Coffee Morning

The date – Saturday August 6th

The time – 10am to 1 pm.

The place – Pilton Church Hall in Pilton Street.

We look forward to seeing all of you who can make it, and perhaps meet some new supporters as well.

Here is a photo of the Church Hall, back in the long ago pre-pandemic days when we were campaigning to save Manning’s Pit from a planning application. We are always grateful to the Church Hall for their support.

Thank you

A big thank you to our stalwart volunteers who have been clearing the area by the bridge. There will be more work to do, but eventually this will be a pleasant grassy area as it used to be in earlier years. For now, we are all going to relax and enjoy our Jubilee Weekend.

The nettles are nearly gone. This was last night, before we finished at the pub. More people came than were in the photograph (for the work, not the drinks!)
Monday night.
This was an earlier evening, all the work being done carefully to protect wildlife and and any specail plants. Merlin the dog did his best to be very helpful, but didn’t always understand what we were trying to do. He has been one of the campaign stars from the very start of our campaign to save Manning’s Pit back in 2015.

More help wanted – update – Tuesday evening, 31st May

Help wanted again.

Call for volunteers Tuesday night.

Meet at Windsor Road gate at 6.45 pm as before, and bring good gloves, bucket, loppers, forks, secateurs etc if you can. 

We will be attacking the final nettles and bramble stems left over from the big trim earlier in the year – in the end we want this area to become again the grassy bank where families used to sit by the river.

A big thank you to those who came on previous evenings – let’s finish the job!

The Friends of Manning’s Pit

If you know for sure you can come, even if only for a short time, it would help if you could let us know.

Here are Gary, Angela and Barry, about to set off down to the bridge area. on Thursday evening. Thanks to all who came along then.

Thursday 19th May

Help wanted this Thursday if you are fit enough for a little weeding and so on – meet at the Windsor Road Gate at 6.45 pm for instructions. Bring good gloves, forks, secateurs and buckets if you can as well, but come anyway if you don’t have all of that. You don’t have to stay long if you can’t manage more than a short time, every little bit of help is valued!

The Wildflower Walk

A small crowd of about 30 people turned up on Sunday 15th to take part in this walk with Mary and John Breeds. Mary and John set up the Countryside Centre in Braunton and have a wealth of knowledge about wild plants, flowers and wildlife too.

It was a fascinating tour of both the open fields – brimming with buttercups and the more delicate white pignut flowers – and the wooded and scrub areas down by the river.

Looking down on the buttercups:

Not all our photos turned out well, but Martin Hadrill who came along also took his own and sent us these below:

The group assembles at the top of the hill, and Mary introduces herself.
In the undergrowth by the river, with Mary in the centre of this small group, examing a plant.

A Damsel fly on some Himalayan Balsam.
Looking at the brilliant habitat on the fallen oak.

Wildflower Walk May 15th

Sunday May 15th at 3pm – meet at the Lynbro Road entrance for a walk round the meadows and woods of Manning’s Pit with Mary and John Breeds.

More information coming – it should be an amazing afternoon. The slopes of Manning’s Pit are brimming with golden buttercups, the pignut flowers are a white froth skimming across the grasses and the May blossom is spreading like clotted cream on the trees in the ancient hedge banks. It couldn’t look more beautiful.

Today – Saturday April 30th, 10.30 am

Today – We will be at the Manning’s Pit entrance in Windsor Road this morning at 10.30 – several volunteers have already said they would like to meet up then, so do come along if you would like to introduce yourself, and tell us how you can help. even if it is just in the smallest way. Please note, this is mainly just a get-to-know-you meeting but – we are also looking for someone who can help carry some rubbish up from near the bridge, and take it to the dump for us.!

Spring in Manning’s Pit

There are some lovely spring flowers blossoming now, violets, wild garlic and bluebells among them in the wooded areas and the buttercups are beginning to emerge on the downland slopes.

Wild garlic, down near Manning’s Pit bridge.
Violets peeping out between the ivy and the nettles, in the same area.


Two updates:

Dad’s Army at work as always

Here they are this morning after doing a great job creating a temporary fence to stop the cattle from across the river coming over into the Manning’s Pit fields. Cattle will be grazing here later in the year – after mid May – but the land is being given some time to recover after the cattle came in much earlier last year.

Any offers of help from new people are always welcome and we were pleased to welcome a couple of new helpers this day.

The Coffee Morning on March 20th

This was very successful. It was lovely to see many of our supporters in person again after the two years of the pandemic. Numbers of those infected are still very high in Pilton and North Devon Hospital but most cases have beem much milder than in the previous waves. While not primarily a fundraising event, there were many generous donations, which will help us going forward with running costs.

We had a steady stream of visitors all morning, most of whom kept carefully spaced out as in this photograph.

Warning (posted in March)

April update to this post: this warning can now be discounted, but reasonable care is advised.

A tree by the area near the Manning’s Pit bridge lost a very large branch in the recent storms. It now appears that two other branches (big enough to cause serious injury if they fell on anyone) could also be at risk of falling any time.

Please be careful if crossing the Manning’s Pit bridge, and avoid the area that has recently been cleared of brambles.

The fallen branch is pale in colour, and the tree above (from which it fell) has two trunks, one covered with ivy.
This photograph is from late January, and shows Dad’s Army clearing the brambles. You can see the tree that lost its branch (later) on the left, and also you can see how close this tree is to the Manning’s Pit bridge. Please be cautious if using the bridge or the footpath on the right.