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:

The grinning shadow that sat at the feast.

Professor Tim Connell gave this lecture in 2006 on the 90th anniversary of Hector Hugh Munro’s death. Professor Connell is an Emeritus Foundation professor at City, University of London, and an honorary life fellow of Gresham College. He kindly asked Gresham College to send us this link to the video of the lecture, which is very worth watching.

Entries for our Saki Short Story Competition close on June 30th – we feel that we are already achieving our primary aim of raising awareness about Saki’s writing as stories and enquiries arrive from places from across the world.

The children who love Manning’s Pit

There are so many children who have been featured during our campaign. and here is another little girl having a good time in the fields. Lizzie doesn’t live in Pilton but she spent a happy week here visiting her grandparents. This tree trunk is all that is left of the fallen tree that was featured in our Equinox Walk.

Here is Lizzie on the tree trunk
Here you can see how much of the tree is left…

And here is the tree trunk as it was in March, with one of our most intrepid supporters climbing up on it.

Here she is in the Arctic, with her home made Save Manning’s Pit Flag.

What a beautiful spring it is again…

Just like last year, when we entered the first lockdown, the weather has been wonderful and the hours exercise we were all allowed then was when so many more local people realised quite how much it meant to them to have a nearby green space.

Here are a few photographs from this month:

The blackthorn blossom has been especially wonderful this April – later than last year, perhaps because of several cold snaps.
A violet peeping out among the wild garlic leaves and buds.
The cattle are back – these young heifers in the field nearest to Shearford Lane had temporarily lost their friends.