Ground Report – Woolstone Hill, Oxfordshire, 15/08/05
This impressive crop circle is the second to appear near Waylands Smithy in the same week. It is located two fields away from the previous formation, on a slight hill and on rather uneven ground.
The backdrop to this location is equally impressive as the other field, the most prominent feature being Uffington Castle, from which a good view of the design can be afforded.
The overall design of this crop circle is extremely complex, involving many aspects seen previously in other formations this year.
The formation is contained within a circle, the diameter of which is 366ft. The central pattern is essentially a star formed of six diamond shapes, similar to the centre of the Avebury Henge formation earlier this year, surrounded by a ‘fan-like’ pattern, similar to the Waylands Smithy crop circle and the large Silbury Hill design of last year. There is a laid ring and then a large square shaped pattern made up of standing and laid pathways, rectangles and squares. This area of the design is reminiscent of the first East Field formation which appeared in July this year.
The widths of the pathways vary between 1ft wide and 3-4ft wide, depending on which part of the design they are in. Within each area the width of the pathways and standing ‘walls’ of crop seems to be consistent.
The crop flows clockwise throughout the formation, apart from in some of the straight pathways which lead towards the perimeter of the design. Here the crop generally flows ‘outwards’. In each of the narrow laid pathways forming the ‘fan’ shapes both in the centre of the design and in the outer part, the crop flows in alternate directions, towards the centre and out towards the perimeter. This is the same flow direction as can be found in the Waylands Smithy formation nearby.
The crop throughout this formation appears not to have been laid very firmly to the ground initially. Lots of the stems actually flow ‘up’ the sides of each of the laid pathways, and it is clear in many places where visitors have trampled the central parts of these, leaving the outer areas much less compacted.
This gives a rather ‘messy’ appearance to the lay, particularly in the narrower sections. There is evidence of the crop having been laid gently throughout, including in the outer ring, where many stems actually lay a few inches off the ground.
Despite the amount of visitors to the formation already, undamaged stems can easily be found, as can be seen in the image above.
In the inner ‘ring’ which separates the square section from the star, the lay looks particularly ‘bumpy’ in places. Looking closely this effect seems to have been caused by a weaving pattern in the lay of the crop in the centre of the pathway. This is not very clear but it does appear that there is crop from each side of the pathway crossing over to the other side as it has been laid.
It is very clear to see where one pathway has been laid before another, as there is often an obvious overlap in flow directions. The image below shows crop from laid pathways flowing into and over crop which has already been laid in the ring.
In the centres of each of the square shapes there are a variety of centres, some in better condition than others. Some are swirled, and some have standing tufts. The nicest I noticed (see image below) has an elegant swirl around a central area where there is less crop. Generally these ‘centres’ are less impressive than others I have seen previously, but how much this has to do with visitors I do not know.
Due to its visible position in the landscape, and relative accessibility, the amount of visitors is high. This truly is a place where you can meet anyone! Families out for a picnic, businessmen taking a break between calls, people of all ages, film crews, dowsers, people taking photos up ladders and more ‘pole shooters’ than I’ve ever seen in one place at the same time! It is great to see so many people enjoying this magnificent phenomenon.
Crop Circle Summary