The Friends of Manning's Pit

This is the website of the Friends of Manning's Pit Group, which has led the "Save Manning's Pit" campaign since 2015. The Manning's Pit fields have been loved by generations of Pilton, Bradiford and Barnstaple people from the writer H H Munro (Saki) back in the 19th Century to the local community in the present day.

Manning's Pit is for sale!

We are launching a major fund-raising effort to purchase Manning's Pit, in conjunction with local Pilton Charity, the Green Man CIO. If you are familiar with our campaign and wish to donate, all you need to do is click on the donation link below. If you would like to learn more about Manning's Pit, you can follow the various links above. Or you can just scroll down below to learn about the story of our Campaign, the people involved and the many, many reasons why Manning's Pit matters so much to everyone.

Ryan Vowles sent us this photograph while on his school trip to Iceland, and he says we can change the word “Save” for “Buy” when we quote the last two lines of his Prize winning poem "Together" during this campaign.

                Vowles in Iceland

"So make a lot of effort, put your heart and soul into it
And maybe, together, we can Buy Manning's Pit."

Go to our Donations Page.

Our aims, and why we want to
Buy Manning's Pit


Latest News and Upcoming Events

The story of our Campaign,
from October 2015 to now:

Our Facebook Page

Our Blog

Endorsements from prominent environmental and cultural figures, including Sir Richard Eyre, Ken Loach, Sir Michael Morpurgo and James Lovelock.

Upcoming Events/Calendar


Our Recent Environmental Exhibition
(reports still being uploaded but first pages available here)

Our Policies
including link to our
Data Protection Policy

The History and Culture of Manning's Pit:

H H Munro (Saki), Colonel and Mrs Hibbert, F. R. Lee, R.A, Henry Williamson and
 Benjamin Manning

  How the Local Community feel
about Manning's Pit

Maps and Information -
Manning's Pit Fact File

Map of area

Lance Housley

Videos and Films

How We Started

A short video by Wendy Robinson and Christine Lovelock explaining how the Campaign to Save Manning's Pit was started. Wendy has started her own fund raising page as she and her one- eyed pug Twinkle will be doing a sponsored walk on November 30th to raise funds for the campaign.

Martin Haddrill has produced this song for us, and he sang it at our Big Autumn Party to great applause. We have had paintings, films, poetry and historical exhibitions but until now we haven't had a song, which is something we wanted right from the start. So we want to give a big thank you to Martin, and hope that this song will help us carry on the  battle through the years to come.

And here below is Ryan Vowles, from Pilton, reading his poem "Together" at our
 Poetry Competition Presentation Evening on January 12th 2019.
Ryan was 14 when he wrote the poem.  His poem, and his recitation, could
not be more inspiring.  It ended with these words, where he talks of who will win in this battle:

"So make a lot of effort, put your heart and soul into it
      And maybe, together, we can Save Manning's Pit. " 


Mark Totterdell wins first
prize with his thoughtful
poem "Form"

The poems can all be read on our results page - see link to the right and reports were also on Facebook and our Blog.
Here is a Full Report with photographs and videos.

The Inaugural Manning's Pit Poetry Competition

The Results

  The Presentation Evening for Prizewinners was held at St. Anne's Chapel in Barnstaple on Saturday January 12th. Judge Julia Bird came from London to speak and read a poem, and David Weeks, Executive Director of The Week Magazine gave out the prizes.

More about Julia, our Judge.

  Manning's Pit and messages of support from around the world,
including China, Australia, the Falklands and the Arctic!
Zoom in for Manning's Pit itself, and Pilton posters and signs.

A page of posters