From those who have
signed our petitions (online or paper), spoken
personally or written to us in support. The online
petition has had to be closed for technical reasons,
but we hope people will continue contacting us with
comments and endorsements.
Sir Michael Morpurgo
OBE, FRSL, FKC, DL, the author, poet,
playwright and librettist.
He is the author of War
Horse, and was Children's Laureate (2003-2005).
He sent us a handwritten card and said
"Of course I support your
brave and important effort to stem the tide of
intrusion into our precious places."
He also said he was pleased to hear about the
connection with Saki.
His Farms for
City Children inspired our own description of
Manning's Pit as"fields for town
CH, CBE, scientist, inventor and best selling author,
originator of the Gaia Hypothesis.
He invented the Electron
Capture Detector, and designed the Life
Detection experiments for the first Martian lander.
Museum in London put on a year long Exhibition
of his work.
He has visited Manning's Pit.
All his four children and several of his grandchildren
have walked there many times.
Sir Richard Eyre
CH, CBE, film, theatre, television and opera
director.Sir Richard has won numerous awards and is
of Rose Bruford College.
His most recent film,
The Children Act, was released recently
and stars Emma Thompson.
He was born in Barnstaple and participated in Shaun
Ley's Radio Four Extra programme about Saki (In
the Lumber Room)
He has signed our petition and
wished us good luck with all our projects.
Award winning Film Director. His film "Kes"
(1969) was voted the 7th greatest British film of
the 20th centry, and more recently his films "The Wind
that Shakes the Barley" (2006) and
Daniel Blake" (2016) both received the Palme
D'Or Award at the Cannes Film Festival.
‘People need homes -
but they also need green spaces. There is no
conflict between a properly planned housing
programme and the preservation of historic open
land. I strongly support saving Manning's Pit for
future generations to enjoy.’
Richard and Anne Williamson
Son and daughter in law of Henry Williamson ("Tarka
the Otter.") Richard is a naturalist and author,
and Anne is the author of Henry
Richard and Anne have confirmed Henry's close
relationship with "Grannie Hibbert," his wife's
mother. Henry visited her in Bellaire and visited
Manning's Pit while researching Tarka the Otter.
Dr Sandie Byrne
"The Unbearable Saki"
The Poetry of Ted Hughes
Associate Professor Kellogg College,
Sandie Byrne took part in Shaun Ley's Radio Four Extra
Programme In the Lumber Room,
that marked the 100th year anniversary of Saki's
Dr Byrne signed our
petition and sent an email message of support,
wishing us every success in our campaign.
Environmental and peace
activist Satish Kumar signed our Petition.
Satish is the Editor of Resugence & Ecologist
Magazine, and has been influential in environmental
concerns over many years. You can read more about him
on the Resurgence website:
He is also an author, and supporters who live in North
Devon may especially enjoy this article:
"I fully support your efforts to save Manning's Pit
and I wish you every success in
stopping the destruction of such beautiful
Sir Jonathon Porritt
Former Chair of the Ecology Party and later Director
of Friends of the Earth
leading environmentalist. Many media
Jonathon signed our petition and made this Comment,
"Our countryside is
disappearing,one development at a time.Local
right to fight and fight again to protect the
places that are so special to them."
Poet, author of Hannah
and the Monk and Twenty
Four Seven Blossom.
She lives in London but has visited Manning's Pit many
She was one of the first to sign our petition and made
"Everyone needs a home -
so build more of them on brownfield sites."
Mark is a musician and artist. His hard rock band
Zodiac Mindwarp and the Love Reaction had a Top
Twenty hit in the 1980s. As a writer he has
contributed to The Idler magazine, for example. As an
artist he has exhibited successfully and Damien Hirst
has bought a number of his paintings. Mark once lived
in Windsor Road and used to take his young son down by
the river to play there.
We were very grateful to Mark for sending one of his
paintings to be exhibited in our Museum Exhibition,
where it was a great attraction. Manning's Pit remains
important to him, although he lives in London now.
Trevor Beer, MBE
Naturalist and artist, who visited Manning's Pit
numerous times during his lifetime.
He sadly passed away in 2017.
This is a link to
the letter he wrote to the North Devon Journal
about Manning's Pit.
He signed our petition and made this comment "As a born and bred Piltonian I have known
Manning's Pit and the Bradiford Valley and Tutshill
Woods as a child. attending Pilton School and over
many years as a naturalist and nature writer. I will
fight where I can to save the site from development
and despoilation and trust it will be safeguarded
for wildlife, with its several rare species,a s well
as for the peace enjoyed by people."
winning Film Director,
who has produced films for BBC/Channel Four/National
Geographic, etc. These include "In
the Footsteps of St Paul," with David Suchet,
and many documentaries.
Martin has lived in Pilton and made two important
films to support our campaign:
The Magic of Manning's Pit and
The Battle of Manning's Pit.
(these films are unfortunately not available for
viewing at present)
Well known in North Devon
most especially for his knowledge of local history, he
took part in Shaun Ley's 2016 Radio programme In the
Lumber Room that commemorated the death of Saki . He
was also helpful to us when we were setting up the
Exhibition on the Museum in 2017.
Peter gives talks locally such as this one, in St.
Anne's Chapel, Barnstaple: https://www.theploughartscentre.org.uk/event/peter-christie-talk-introduction-new-ideas-north-devon
After signing our petition, Peter wrote this:
'Saki is one of my favourite
writers and his connection to this area guarantees
my support for preserving it.'
watercolour artist, countryside lover, leads painting
courses, producer of DVDs and
presenter of television series on watercolour
painting in Wales.
pastel artist, author of books on painting, leads
painting courses, countryside lover.