Saki Short Story Competition

Following on from their Inaugural Manning's Pit Poetry Competition (2018), the Friends of Manning's Pit are now launching the Saki Short Story Competition. Hector Hugh Munro (Saki) grew up close to Manning's Pit.

Entries can be accepted from November 20th, 2020 and the Competition closes on June 30th 2021.

The Judges will be Sir Richard Eyre, James Lovelock
and Peter Christie.

Buy Manning's Pit!

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.

Contact Details for Enquiries

Jack's Sponsored Walk

North Devon MP, District and Town Councillors show their support

Manning's Pit Auction September 23rd - Not Sold

£20,000 grant from Garfield Weston Foundation

Developers Support our Campaign

This photo was taken just before Lockdown, when Joanna Towns, representative from developers Barratt David Wilson Homes, presented us with a cheque to help our campaign. Manning's Pit went for Auction on September 23rd but did not sell. It is described as "Land Lying East of Windsor Road". The catalogue entry suggested future development potential - Barratt David Wilson Homes obviously disagree.

Newland Homes, who have just completed a new development in Barnstaple, have also added their support to our campaign. Read more here.

Summix Ltd, the present owners, are a successful national company but they have given up the fight for planning permission - read the history of their failed attempt.

We don't expect other developers will want to waste money on a plot of land so valued by the local community, designated an Asset of Community Value , supported by local Town and District Councillors and MPs past and present, celebrities including Ken Loach, Sir Richard Eyre, Sir Michael Morpurgo and James Lovelock - even the Prime Minister has held up a Buy Manning's Pit poster.

Few farmers would be interested in land of poor agricultural value so close to the town and used by so many people.

Mannings Pit - Our Future by Ty Redif.

About Manning's Pit

Manning's Pit is a magical piece of countryside on the edge of Pilton and Bradiford, two villages now part of Barnstaple. Otters, kingfishers, salmon and rare hazel dormice are all part of the wildlife found there by the river or in the trees.

It may be a small area but it is at the heart of the local community, loved by young and old alike. Generations of local people have walked through these fields, paddled in the river and done their courting there. They have expressed their love for Manning's Pit in hundreds of letters, poems, paintings and photographs, all of which can be seen on our website.

Our fund raising campaign started following the news that the land owners wanted to sell the fields. We - The Friends of Manning's Pit - came together with the Pilton Green Man CIO, charity no 1170742, to help buy Manning's Pit for the local community.

Donate now with Enthuse

Cheques should be made payable to "Buy Manning's Pit" and sent to: The Treasurer, c/o 7 Nursery End, Pilton, Barnstaple EX31 1RA

Gift Aid Form for BACS and cheque payments

BACS Payments

By bank transfer to:

Pilton Green Man CIO
CAF bank
Sort Code: 40-52-40
Account No.: 00033100
Payment Ref: ManPit
Pilton Green Man CIO

Please note that all donations received are accepted on the basis that if we are unsuccessful over the purchase of Manning’s Pit we shall refund donations of £50 or more. Any money not refunded shall be applied for charitable purposes in Pilton and its environs.

For any questions, please consult our detailed Manning's Pit FAQ,
or contact us at

Please email also if you would like to be added to our mailing list.

We wish to thank North Devon District Council and Barnstaple Town Council for their support.