STROUD’S silly season has kicked off in fine style with this latest children’s protest being manipulated by cynical pressure groups and politicians to further their own agenda, writes reader Francis Ray.

It did however present a golden opportunity for every photo journalist in the county to create a blizzard of pictures of young children skipping school and behaving badly.

No one could accuse Stroud of being out of touch in regards to conservation, so could this be just another excuse to make a nuisance for the sake of it, as so many protests locally appear to be?

Francis Ray