James Lovelock, CH, CBE, FRS

James Lovelock with grandchildren, copyright Jane
James Lovelock in the 1980s with three of his grandchildren.
Many members of his family have known and loved Manning's Pit.

  James Lovelock was the first eminent environmentalist to support our campaign.

These two quotes distil his life-long feelings about the English countryside:

"The England I knew as a child and a young man was breathtakingly beautiful, hedgerows and small copses were abundant, and small streams and rivers teemed with fish and fed the otters. It inspired generations of poets to make coherent the feelings we could not ourselves express. Yet that landscape of England was no natural ecosystem; it was a nation-sized garden, wonderfully and carefully tended.”

"Why should I fret over the destruction of a countryside that is, at most, only a few thousand years old and soon to vanish again? I do so because the English countryside was a great work of art; as much a sacrament as the cathedrals, music and poetry. It has not all gone yet, and I ask, is there no one prepared to let it survive long enough to illustrate a gentle relationship between humans and the land, a living example of how one small group of humans, for a brief spell, did it right?”

Quotes: “Gaia a new look at life on Earth” page141 and “The Ages of Gaia,” pages 232, 233

Christine Lovelock, Chair of the Friends of Manning's Pit, and organiser of the Exhibition:

"Manning's Pit and the Bradiford Valley are indeed man-made creations and as our Exhibition demonstrates, their hedgerows, copses and small fields are not only beautiful but provide homes for a profusion of plants and wildlife. As time moves forward the countryside is increasingly under threat, but whatever the future may hold, we hope that Manning's Pit will always have a treasured place in the heart of this community."