Lost draft!

What a time to lose a draft Blog Post, with lots of photos of people enjoying themselves in Manning’s Pit on Sunday. The new changes on this platform may be good, but first you have to figure how to use them!

We’ve raised over £100,000 now!

Our total tonight is £100,757, quite an amazing achievement from such a small and not especially wealthy community, at such a time. A year ago, it would have seemed that raising such an amount would be easy, but how times have changed, and how difficult fund raising is in the time of the pandemic!

More to tell tomorrow…

Save Manning’s Pit for Victor

There are so many stories we can tell, from so many people, and many we have covered in our News page or over the years of this campaign.

Victor is a dog who was found wandering the streets of Bucharest, and we will be telling his story in more detail later, but for now it is enough to say that he was rescued by a Charity, and ended up here in North Devon, where he is enjoying a new and happy life, with daily walks in Manning’s Pit.

Lockdown message from Melbourne

Manning’s Pit was a life saver to so many local people during lock down – most especially workers in the nearby North Devon Hospital. Many said what a relief it was to walk in this peaceful and beautiful spot after all the tendiosn of coping with Covid.

We were especially touched to receive messages of support from two grandmothers, both stuck in their own lockdown in Australia. Neither Sally nor Jane have met one another, although they are living quite close to one another in Melbourne, but they have both walked in Manning’s Pit and supported this campaign for many years now.

So a special thanks to them, and their grand-children, for these wonderful messages.

Sally in her garden
Sally’s grandchildren
Jane on St Kilda beach
Jane’s grandchildren

Manning’s Pit may be a small place, but it has support from people from across the world.

Town and District Councillors Ian Roome, Mel Lovering and Jo Orange come to Manning’s Pit, accompanied by even more Councillors including Janet Coates.

What is the collective noun for a crowd of Councillors, both District and Town? Well, there were a large number of them in Manning’s Pit yesterday, all showing their support in a socially distanced way.

Former Mayor Ian Roome spoke glowingly about the importance of Manning’s Pit, and interviewed two of us on his Facebook Live Stream. As he said, and we know, there was a real possibility that the Town Council could have helped with the purchase, but the pandemic put a halt to any plans of that, for the present at least.

Any prospective developer thinking of putting in a bid needs to know how much the importance of Manning’s Pit is understood by all our Town and District Councillors. It is – after all – an Asset of Community Value.

Some of the Councillors with Friends of Manning’s Pit in Manning’s Pit (there were plenty more as well who arrived a little later,) Those in the photo (or out of range) are Mark Fowler, Ian Roome, Janet Coates, Mel Lovering and Jo Orange.
L to R Councillors Jo Orange, Mel Lovering and Janet Coates, just below a sign that makes clear that this field is not – as the auctioneers describe it – known as Land Lying East of Windsor Road.

Councillor Robbie Mack comes to Manning’s Pit

Following on from the visit of our MP (see below) to Manning’s Pit, Robbie Mack, who is both a Town and District Councillor, came to visit us on Thursday. He has already given us a very welcome donation from his Councillor Community Grant, and he had joined us for the first part of John Lovelokck’s Sponsored walk back in January.

The weather was very different then – as you can see if you scroll down these pages some way – and the mud was very deep. This Thursday was a beautiful dry and sunny day, with the leaf colours beginning to turn red and gold in the afternoon sun.

This is his message:

It’s coming to crunch time again for the Friends of Mannings Pit, as the site will be auctioned on September 23rd with a guide price of £180,000-£220,000. The group have done a fantastic job fundraising and have raised over £80,000, but are obviously still short of buying it. Please give if you can. I chose to give a portion of my Councillor Community Grant to this cause as I feel it is a very important issue for the people of Barnstaple. It is vital we keep green spaces like this, which benefit our physical and mental health, as well as the environment. Anyone looking to buy this site will be left with no doubt that there is a strong community effort to keep the space open for the enjoyment of nature.”

Robbie Mack (centre) with Friends of Manning’s Pit group members