Star Count 2023

Look skywards in the Cotswolds for CPRE’s Star Count 2023!

Between 17th and 24th February, in celebration of our starry skies and to help protect and improve our view of the stars, CPRE, the countryside charity, is inviting the whole nation to become ‘citizen scientists’ and take part in Star Count 2023 – a cosmic census that will help map our view of the stars, and measure the impact of light pollution across the country.

Dark, starry skies are an undeniably beautiful sight, and a distinctive feature of the countryside – the wonder of gazing up into velvety blackness, with twinkling constellations as far as the eye can see, never gets old. But all too often, light pollution means that many of us can barely see the stars at all.

Our towns, cities, villages, buildings, and roads all emit light, and this can affect our view of truly dark skies, and cause problems for wildlife and people. Too much artificial light can impact our sleep and mental health, disrupt nature’s natural cycles, and confuse wildlife. Light pollution also impacts our experience of the natural wonder of the night sky, and blurs the distinction between town and countryside.

To help understand all this, thousands of people have submitted star counts over the years, which CPRE’s experts plot onto an interactive Star Count map, then analyse and compare with previous years’ data. In the 2022 Star Count, 49% of participants counted 10 stars or fewer in the constellation of Orion, indicating severe light pollution, while only 3% experienced truly dark skies.

Help count the Cotswold stars by becoming a citizen scientist!

This year, we need you to help us fill up the Cotswolds section of the interactive Star Count map! We’d love to see counts submitted to CPRE from every corner of the Cotswolds, including from towns just outside the area, like Cheltenham, Stroud, Gloucester, or Banbury. Let’s all join together to look up, get counting, and sending in our observations.

Taking part in Star Count is completely free, and can be done without any special equipment. You’ll be part of a nationwide citizen science project. Stargazers are asked to count the number of stars they can see (with the naked eye) within the constellation of Orion, and submit their count online.   Visit to find out more and to register to take part.

The number of stars visible in Orion is a good indicator of the amount of light pollution affecting views of the night sky, and can be compared with previous data to show how our ability to see the stars is changing.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

It is with deep sadness that Miserden Parish Council has been informed this evening of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
As a mark of respect, St Andrew’s church will be flying the Union flag at half-mast.

Join Miserden Parish Council at The Tree in Miserden on Saturday 10th September at 1:15pm for the local proclamation.

Floral tributes

An area for floral tributes will be provided on the forecourt of the Subscription Rooms in Stroud.

After the funeral the flowers will be collected and composted, so please avoid plastic/cellophane. The compost will be used to fertilise a tree which will be planted in memory of her Royal Highness, Queen Elizabeth II by the Town Mayor at a suitable location in Stroud.

Books of Condolence

There will be a Book of Condolence available for members of the community to sign
at the St Andrew’s Church, Miserden


The Royal e-Book of Condolence can be accessed on The Royal Household website shortly. Following the funeral, all messages will be bound in a book with a photograph of her Royal Highness and her birth/death years and a message from the Council Chairman which will be placed on deposit with the Gloucestershire Archives.


Letter to the new Sovereign

The Chairman will send a letter on behalf of the Parish to the Private Secretary asking that condolences be passed to the new Sovereign, His Royal Highness, King Charles III.



Community Bunting Project

What’s better than a summer party with bunting? And what’s better than a HUGE party, such as the Platinum Jubilee, with heaps of bunting? How about a community getting together to MAKE a bunting?!

No sewing or artistic skills required! What we need is for you, your family or just your kids to design a flag for our Community Bunting project.
What do you put on it? Anything that marks this Platinum Jubilee for you. Could be a family portrait, or a modern design, a poem, a family crest, a child’s rendering of the Queen… The sky is the limit!

Submit your paper entry to one of the collection boxes in the pub or the shop, or email your design to with the subject heading ‘bunting entry’.

We’ll get it on fabric and sew it into keepsake community bunting for everyone to see over the Jubilee long weekend.

After the Jubilee, we’ll hang the Miserden and hamlets bunting in the village hall, the Whiteway bunting in the Colony Hall, and the bunting that the Miserden C of E Primary students make will be in the school hall for all to admire.
(By the way, do you have a sewing machine? Can you sew a straight line? Fantastic! Would you like to play a bigger part of this project and help SEW the bunting? Volunteers needed! Even if you can just help cut triangles, many hands make lighter work.
Email Gwen at with the subject line ‘I’ll help!’ and we can make plans.)

Don’t delay, entry deadline is May 10th! Happy creating 🙂
Download and print entry form here:
(No printer? Don’t worry–forms also available in Miserden Stores from April 19 and The Carpenter’s Arms next to collection box from April 17th).

Last Parish Council Meeting of 2021

Agenda November 2021
It’s our last meeting of the year, and the last meeting on our usual Tuesday evening!
From January 2022, we will be meeting the LAST WEDNESDAY of the month unless otherwise posted.  All are welcome to attend the meeting; however, members of the community are asked to contact the clerk a minimum of five days prior to the meeting to add an item to the agenda.
All attendees must abide by our Standing Orders.

Following the UK government guidelines on COVID, and in light of the newly discovered Omicron variant, we will kindly ask all attendees to wear protective face coverings and remain at a social distance.

Meeting agenda:
Agenda November 2021

Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) Programme

Registration for the winter Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme, funded with £1.39m from the Department for Education for children eligible for benefits-related free school meals, is now open.
Using grant funding, the council is also once again able to offer local holiday activities which are available to all children and young people across the county.
The winter programme will run for 4 days between 20 and 23 December 2021.
Families who registered in the summer will be automatically enrolled and do not need to sign up again.
Gloucestershire’s summer Holiday Activity and Food programme was a great success, reaching 57 per cent of children and young people eligible for Free Schools Meals.
Funding of £1.3m from the COVID-19 Contain Outbreak Management Fund (COMF) meant the council was able to extend a wide range of enriching activities to all children and young people.
The council worked with district councils and partners to deliver 16 days of activity to:
9,069 children and young people eligible for Free School Meals
546 children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
18,500 activity sessions were enjoyed, with over 150 providers
18,581 meals delivered and 3,622 food boxes distributed
Feedback from families has been used to improve the winter programme and build upon the success of the summer.

You will be able to sign up to our Children Activities Booking System (CABS) from November.

Bookings for the free activities and food provision will be available to book from 1 December.

May 2021 Parish Council Meeting

Our first in-person meeting since early 2020 was held on May 19th in Miserden Village Hall with a full council present, as well as Julie Job from Stroud District Council and our new County Councillor, Sue Williams.
All government-mandated COVID guidelines were observed, including sign-in for COVID tracing,  facility sanitation and risk assessment, and chairs at 2m apart or greater.
This was our first meeting since the election, where our Parish Council Chair, Martin Ractliffe, accepted his nomination, as well as our Vice-Chair, Russ Coles-Jones accepting his nomination.  Other Parish Councillors accepting their elected positions were Kevin Allin, Gideon Duberley and Richard Dangerfield.
As Clerk of the Parish Council, I have to say this is the nicest group of people I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with, and I look forward to my first year as clerk under more relaxed pandemic circumstances!
Our Annual Assembly followed on the 27th outside the village hall. We were gifted with a lovely spring evening, and had a very nice time socialising in the evening sunshine with the parishioners and Council members who were able to attend.
We hope the Annual Assembly for 2022 can be our usual well-planned event
in the Colony Hall at Whiteway, with music and food along with our other Council matters.

Our next meeting is scheduled for June 29th at 7:30 pm in Miserden Village Hall.  Our meeting will be open to the public, but we ask you observe social distancing measures and wear a mask.  If you have any questions about the COVID restrictions for local council meetings, please see the following guidelines which we are following:

Gwen Pearshouse,
Parish Council Clerk