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Gossip around the village pump.

Doggy DNA

Doggy DNA

DNA Protected is supported by Gloucestershire Constabulary

We are seeing a rise in the thefts of not only ‘working’ dogs but also treasured pets which are then ransomed back to the owner or used for breeding purposes. There have also been instances where owners who have advertised the loss of a dog, have been asked for cash for the return of the animal but when money is paid, it transpired that the criminal was never in possession of the dog and it was just a scam to obtain the cash.

Better than Data Chips

We have all seen on TV that criminals have been caught as a result of their DNA being found at a crime scene. DNA like fingerprints are unique to an individual and the same applies to animals, in particular to your dog. Their DNA is unique to them and cannot be altered or removed like a data chip.

It is easy and straight forward to obtain the DNA from your dog, a simple mouth swab is used to collect the sample, which is sent to the laboratory where the swab is analysed to generate the DNA profile. The DNA profile is then added to the Forensic Dog DNA Database.

The problem has always been how to identify an animal positively when it is recovered into Police possession, DNA now give’s a reliable and positive result to that question, which can be used in court. This is a positive way of identifying your dog and getting it back to you should it be lost or worse happens and it gets stolen.

The video above is a short video showing how the sample is taken. The DNA swabbing kits are available from:

For more information please contact Simon Bailey 01452 754630 or via email



Berkley and Sharpness Residents Action Group

SDC are required to accommodate 12,760 new houses between 2020 – 2040. Of these 5,223 are already planned but of the remaining 7,537 they propose to accommodate 2,400 (31%) in a so called “garden village” between Berkeley and Sharpness. In addition a further 490 houses will be accommodated on smaller sites in the area. A second phase to the “garden village” is planned to follow with a further 2,600 houses by 2050.

With developments already agreed, the total number of new houses in the Berkeley and Sharpness area will be over 5,500.

To put this in context this would be a new town approximately 5 times the size of Berkeley. If you include existing houses in the Berkeley -Sharpness area it would form an urban area similar in size to Cam and Dursley .

An action group called BASRAG (the Berkeley and Sharpness Action Group) representing the concerns of local people about development between Berkeley and Sharpness has been formed. We are concerned about Stroud District Council’s proposals in their Local Plan Review for a ‘growth point’ between Sharpness and Berkeley in a so-called “garden village” of 5,000 houses. The group was formed following locally organised residents’ meetings held in both Sharpness (Dec 2018) and Berkeley (Jan 2019).

Request from BASRAG

  • Read their www site at BASRAG
  • Send in a response to the Planning Inspector and have your say by Wednesday 21st JULY

Deer in the Field

60 New Houses in Stinchcombe?

Potential 60 House Development Taits Hill Road

by Russell Legg

Framework Plan
Framework Plan, Planning – Application 2021/0325/EIAS

Sensitivity Assessment

Clifton Homes. (who advertise on their website a “no win, no fee planning permissive service“) are conducting a sensitivity assessment ahead of a potential planning application in the village. At this stage the Application is for a “Screening request for proposed 60 dwellings, public open space and ancillary works

We understand that at this stage this is NOT a planning application for 60 dwellings. It is our opinion however that it will inevitably lead an application for such.

Stroud District Council are looking for feedback and evidence on the wildlife, flora and fauna of this ecologically rich meadow. Do you have pictures, information verbal or written to submit to prove the diversity of this rich site?

Our Reply

Please can you comment directly on the SDC Planning Portal against the application. Could you also provide a copy of your submission to Russell Legg.

Already, we have contacted and sought the advice of a Planning Consultant to support the local residents who would be affected by the forthcoming application. We also made the following five points to the Stinchcombe Parish Council, and the Local Councillors for Stinchcombe and Cam who have all been very supportive.

  1. We already have an adopted local Plan signed off in 2015. There is a great deal of certainty as to where growth and development will go. Stroud District Council has 6.56 years forward supply of land to satisfy that plan. Speculative and unplanned development such as this scheme are contrary to the local plan and unnecessary.
  2. Irrespective of this the site is in the influence of the Cotswold AONB and would significantly and detrimentally detract from this Landscape character.
  3. Access arrangements are sub standard and would make safety on Taits Hill Road a major issue.
  4. The lack of services and facilities mean most residents would need to use a car.
  5. The Site is rich in ecology and in the absence of a more detailed survey the development would be detrimental to the Ecology of the area.
Impact of the proposed site
The proposed site viewed against the backdrop of the AONB

Taits Hill Action Group

We have also formed the Taits Hill Action Group to communicate and co-ordinate all the information and objections of the local residents in the local area both Stinchcombe and Cam.

  • Clingre Down – John Delafield- 01453 544 597
  • Field Lane and West End – Ken Eales – 07785 516 569
  • Orchard Leaze – Heat Patel – 07425 318 461
  • Taits Hill Road – Russell Legg – 07850 383 649
  • Stinchcombe Village – Kath Hudson – 01453 542 132

Questions, Queries and Help with Comments to the SDC please contact your local co-ordinator please.


Are we seeing the slow death of Democracy?

by Richard Bartlam

Rule by the people

From the Encyclopaedia Britannia Democracy, literally, rule by the people. The term is derived from the Greek dēmokratia, which was coined from dēmos (“people”) and kratos (“rule”)

The world seems to me to be changing, slowly and surely, to a one that is less Democratic and more Authoritarian. In the last twenty years China has once again receded to the complete one person one party state, with Party App Xi Jinping on phones now tracking, teaching, spying on its people. Gone are the days of the “Little Red Book” when you can have an app for that! We see democracy in Hong Kong slowly being squeezed to death by the State and it operates an estimated 1,200 concentration camps in Xinjiang. Also gone are the days when China was content to be the world’s cheap manufacture, it now also has an aggressive foreign policy.

Likewise Russian, since Putin became acting President on 31st December 1999 when Boris Yeltsin unexpectedly “resigned” he become the de facto “head” of Russia. He first served two 4 year terms, but was barred from a third by the then constitution. So he handed over the “power” but was immediately made “Prime Minister of Russia” Since regaining the “Precedency” for two more terms he has eliminated all candidates in the opposing parties and suggest major constitutional amendments that will keep him in power past 2024. During his term Russia has moved in an autocratic direction

Both of the above are countries where one man has used that party to become omnipotent. However what I find equally disturbing is what is happening right now in Texas USA where one party is now trying to secure the next election by changing the voting rules. Thus eliminating a large proportion of the the population from voting with the Republicans introducing 389 bills with restrictive provisions in 48 states. Is American, the “land of the free”, the next country to be the land of the single party?

Only around half the worlds population live in a “democracy” but some like India should now now be downgraded as an “Electoral autocracy” Other countries like Saudi Arabia although having implemented some modest reforms for women still allow no political parties or national elections. An International Aline was “hijacked” by state security to arrest an opposition blogger but despite much protest, little real actions has been take by the EU. Likewise, little has happened to Myanmar since the the government was overthrown and disappeared.

Governments of the world should re-read the poem by Pastor Martin Niemoller. A poem I have always found emotional to read. The words may need to change, but the sentiment of the poem remains true today. And if our governments truly believe in democracy, maybe it’s time to speak out?

First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist
Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist
Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist
Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew
Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me

If you are interested in the above, perhaps you might like to read “Democracy under Siege” by Freedom House.

Stinchcombe Social

Stinchcombe Social

A Source of Community Spirit

The WhatsApp group “Stinchcombe Social” as you see, has now been around now since March 2020.

It is ONLY for residents of the village and some people are more active than others. Some people never post messages but just like to turn off the notifications for the group in the WhatsApp settings and read the messages.

During the past year, we have had lost pets, local planning issues, lots of of jokes, local recommended tradespeople, local notices, local groups started, local events and fundraising and lots and lots of local talk. All just for Stinchcombe Residents.

It also has been for the last year a great source of Local Community Spirit!

So if you are not on “Stinchcombe Social” and you live in Stinchcombe, you DO miss out on a lot of gossip!

A Stairway to Heaven

A Stairway to Heaven?

Is this the Stairway to Heaven?

I had a lot of trouble writing this post as when I was researching the phrase “Stairway to Heaven”, using the Google God all I got was 3 pages of a song by Led Zeppelin which was banned!! (Do your own research on that).

Where I lived as a child there was a footpath called “Jacob’s Ladder” but a search on that ended with a path in the Derbyshire Peak District.

Trying a new search “Who built the Stairway to heaven?” came up with a footpath in Hawaii built during WW2 which is now closed and illegal to use.

I do feel that these tremendous treads, this stately stairwell, deserves a name deserving of the hard work by John Pinch in providing them for the community. Maybe “Pinches Progress” ?

What do you think they should be named? Comments below.

No Mow May

No Mow May

A Plantlife Initiative

No Mow May is exactly what it sounds – not mowing your lawn during the month of May.  It is an initiative started by the charity Plantlife back in 2019.  In the UK it is supported by organisations as diverse as the National Trust ,  Yeo Valley Organic  and more locally Wotton Area CAN .  Already it has spread to the USA and Canada.

Why join in?

As Gardens Illustrated reported, there is strong evidence for rethinking our mowing habits:

  • 97% of British wildflower meadows have disappeared since the 1930s
  •  many pollinating insects are in decline in the UK
  • on average each square kilometre lost 11 species of bee and hoverfly between 1980 and 2013


Plantlife’s citizen science experiments show that mowing less can lead to a tenfold increase in the nectar available to pollinators and a much more interesting lawn.

Leave it longer for longer

There isn’t really anything special about May – ideally Plantlife would like us to mow only monthly all summer to give short grass plants like daisies and white clover chance to flower.  We should even let the odd patch go unmown to encourage plants such as oxeye daisy, field scabious and knapweed. 

In 2020, I enjoyed a purple carpet of self heal so I’m trying again this year.  Though I will cheat a bit by keeping a narrow strip round the edge short so the general effect is intentional not neglected.

Now for the science bit …

You can register for Plantlife’s Every Flower Counts survey  which runs from 22nd to 31st May.  By doing so you help them calculate our National Nectar Score and monitor trends.  It’s fun for children and educational for anyone who, like me, is no botanist.

We can make a difference

There are 15 million gardens in the UK so a high take-up could make a substantial difference to pollinators

… and give us more time to do something we really enjoy!


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