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.
What a lovely day it was, with supporters out in Manning’s Pit from Sunrise to Sunset yet again, demonstrating how much this small piece of countryside means to them all. As usual, this included all ages, from toddlers in their first years to the over 80s.
We have put up a slide show so that you can see how the day went, from the moment that John started his walk, as the sun came up, through all the hours of the day when the sun came out until the moment that Kate and Tim stood watching the sun go down over Bideford Bay to the West.
In the slide show you can see a little girl called Ivy, who came along with her pug Monty to do the final walk of a fundraiser she was doing to help another little girl called Esme (who is having chemotherapy.) We will post more about that next.
We’re sorry to be slow with our follow up, technical problems having to be sorted out, but meanwhile here are some photos of Mothers and Daughters who have supported our campaing since 2015, and came out again on Sunday.
Therre isn’t much we can do during the pandemic, but in the last year we have marked – or celebrated – the Summer Solstice, the Autumn Equinox and the Winter Solstice by encouraging our supporters to show how much they care. From Sunrise to Sunset on each occasion, supporters have been out in the fields, socially distanced, making no fanfare, just quietly demonstrating how much they love Manning’s Pit. The same is happening today (a day late to be accurate, but we had reasons why it couldn’t be yesterday.)
It may have been cold this morning, but it was stunningly beautiful as the sun rose over a hard frost in the Manning’s Pit fields. Let us hope that this new year will bring good news in our campaign to buy Manning’s Pit and keep it safe for ever.
We started marking the Solstices and Equinoxes in June, and today is the shortest day of the year. We chose the closest weekend day to mark this Equinox, and yesterday – Sunday 20th December – yet again there were supporters walking round the fields from the moment of Sunrise until the moment of Sunset.
The weather was both good and bad, with beautiful sunshine plus heavy showers at times. The highlight was a perfect rainbow over Manning’s Pit, that curved down into the field itself so that an unsuspecting walker appeared to walk right through it. Because of the rain, and an old camera it wasn’t possible to get a photo of that fleeting moment, but it was indeed a perfect moment.
Following on from weeks of rain it was very muddy indeed! Here are some more photographs – sometimes it was raining too hard to take any.
Then there was the beautiful rainbow….
A couple of photos sent next are not uploading properly so until we fix the problem we’ll continue with the later ones. Dusk was approaching early and it was getting damper and colder.
We would have liked to make a special occasion of the finish, with mulled wine and mince pies and a bigger crowd, but with the news the day before about the new variant of the virus it wasn’t right to do that. Even so, as dusk came down on Manning’s Pit, and Christmas lights began to twinkle in the distance on houses bordering the fields (as well as some striking ones over at Anchor Mill) we were glad we had had our small socially distanced event. We all hope that this time next year it will be different. Until then our message has to be, keep safe, and keep your fingers crossed for our campaign and our hopes to buy Manning’s Pit.
Anne Beer, a long time supporter of our campaign, an artist who has exhibited in our Art Exhibitions and a writer whose poem Manning’s Pit Fever was one of those Highly Commended in our Poetry Competition, has just published her Autobiograpy. She tells us it includes a mention of Manning’s Pit!
Going for a walk in Manning’s Pit is of course one way to cope with lockdown, and it can be very beautiful on a frosty morning. – but when it is dark and wet what better way of spending time could there be than writing a story to be entered in our new competition?
The Friends of Manning’s Pit are now launching their new Literary venture – the Saki Short Story Competition. Entries can be accepted any time after November 20th, and the last date for entries is June 30th, 2021. The Judges who will decide the winners are Sir Richard Eyre, James Lovelock and Peter Christie.
As we enter the second lockdown we have put a new statement up on our website.
Here it is:
We have decided to call a halt to our fundraising efforts for now as we are able to access extra funds on top of the amount (£123,000) raised already. Thank you all for your magnificent efforts, every donation large or small has helped us on our way.
We remain in negotiations with the seller and ask you all to be patient as this is a long process. As soon as we have more news it will be posted here.
The donation links on the website remain live for the moment, but we are not asking for more donations at present.