Ground Report – Bishop's Sutton, Hampshire, 13/05/05
This very large crop ring is situated on White Hill, a slope just about as close as you can get to the A31, from which the best view can be had.
On arriving at the field my first feeling, apart from the usual excitement, was that of being impressed by the sheer size and hillside location of the formation. From the road below the field it can be seen almost in its entirety. There is a huge area of standing crop in the centre of the ring making it impossible to measure single handily. I would estimate the total diameter to be around 350ft. There are also two small satellite circles aligned to the east and therefore positioned on the lower edge of the ring.
The width of the laid pathway varies somewhat, measuring up to 11ft at the north western edge, but generally it is 9ft wide. I would estimate the satellite circles to be approximately 9ft and 3ft in diameter. All of the crop is laid in an anti-clockwise direction.
In my opinion, the width of the laid ring looks rather out of proportion to the huge area of standing crop in the centre but the sheer size of this crop formation is impressive none the less. Walking around the ring took a considerable length of time and the scale became even more appreciable as I tried to locate where the centre would be, with little success, due in part to the height of the standing crop.
There is a fair amount of damage to the laid crop, but again I will not draw any conclusion from this as the formation had been present for a number of days before my visit, (this seems to be fast becoming a catch phrase of mine!). The crop in the larger of the two satellite circles also shows some signs of breakage.
To have been trampled by visitors would mean they would have had to walk through standing crop to get to the circle. The image below shows a possible trail leading to this circle, but this could not be seen at ground level.
Around the entire ring there are a number of places where either the inner edge or the outer edge of the laid crop appears to flow towards the centre of the pathway, often laying over the rest of the crop before following the same anti-clockwise course. Where this occurs the crop flowing towards the centre is notably less flat to the ground.
One final feature of the laid crop is that where it crosses over tram lines there is no ‘bridging’ effect as is often seen, particularly in wheat and barley. See Allan Brown’s article on this effect. In fact the crop at these points was notably more damaged.
All in all this was a very worthwhile crop formation to visit. The challenge of surveying and photographing a ring of this scale was enjoyable, and the many features present within the laid crop posed lots of questions. The location next to a busy road, and very difficult weather conditions, (I thought it was supposed to be the beginning of summer!?), meant that the atmosphere of tranquillity so often experienced when inside crop circles was not possible but as always, every formation is different in more than just design. This was a thoroughly rewarding visit, as every crop circle is.
Crop Circle Summary