Fears for the future of Mannings Pit at Pilton

Pilton locals fear the loss of the popular Mannings Pit.

Pilton locals fear the loss of the popular Mannings Pit. - Credit: Archant

‘Much-loved’ area of land is up for auction on October 27

Trees outlined against the sun at Mannings Pit. Picture: Martin Haddrill

Trees outlined against the sun at Mannings Pit. Picture: Martin Haddrill - Credit: Archant

There are fears the much-loved and picturesque countryside of Mannings Pit at Pilton could be lost to developers.

Generations of local people have grown up playing and walking in the area but the land is up for sale at auction on October 27 at 2pm in Barnstaple Hotel.

It is currently used for agriculture and is being advertised by Stags Barnstaple with a guide price of £250,000.

A Facebook group called Friends of Mannings Pit, Pilton is now up and running, and is appealing for pledges of funds to try and buy the land for the community.

Pilton locals fear the loss of the popular Mannings Pit.

Pilton locals fear the loss of the popular Mannings Pit. - Credit: Archant

The gently sloping meadow land covers almost 22 acres and has the Braddiford Water stream running through it.

It is slowly being hemmed in by development, with work underway on 43 homes at nearby Westaway Plain, while the adjacent Westaway Park has permission for up to 115 dwellings.

Artist Christine Lovelock spends much of her time painting at Mannings Pit and said the fear was it would be lost forever.

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“It’s very hard to explain what Mannings Pit means to the people of Pilton and Braddiford,” she said.

“Everyone know it and all the people who have lived around here played there as children. Generations of families have loved this place, it’s a really wonderful spot, tranquil, peaceful and filled with wildlife.”

Mannings Pit is one of two Pilton lots up for sale on October 27, with another six acre plot of land bordered by Mear Top and Youings Drive also going under the hammer with a guide price of £150,000.

In reference to both plots of land, the Stags website said in the past year the sellers had received offers from two developers to enter into an option agreement on some of the land – usually an agreement to buy within a set period – but the sellers refused.

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