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Ground Report – Old Sarum, Wiltshire, 05/05/10

The first crop circle of the 2010 season! What a beautiful location for the first formation, next the impressive earthwork of Old Sarum. Although off the beaten track for crop circles in recent years, the proximity to such an important ancient site serves as a great reminder of the wider context for this phenomenon, so often concentrated within a relatively tight location in the heart of Wiltshire. 

At ground level this formation presents some intriguing questions. Although a fair proportion of the laid crop has begun to recover throughout, much of this now standing crop shows signs of damage up the stem, not only disturbance of the light surface layer consistent with one plant coming into contact with another, but sometimes more significant tissue damage (see images below).

Looking at the base of the laid stems, the vast majority of these are not in a good condition, with many split, broken or severed near to ground level. Visiting two days after the formation appeared, we would expect to see a fair amount of damage caused by people walking on the laid crop but this would appear to be more than that. This level of damage was present throughout the crop circle, not being limited to the more obvious ‘walked’ routes.  

However, on very close inspection, there are a few stems dotted within the laid crop which have clearly been bent at the base, causing no noticeable damage to the plants. 

The crop here is still quite young and perhaps oil seed rape stems are even more brittle at this stage of growth than in the later stages of development. It does seem strange that with the amount of overall damage there would be any bent stems at all.Although the imprint of this crop circle from an aerial perspective is slightly less pronounced than we should see in weeks to come as the crop matures, the design itself really is interesting. From certain angles the 3D nature is quite striking.  

Not the most amazing start to a crop circle season, but this formation, as always, does present us with some challenging thinking early on. It really is great to get back out into the fields, especially after the prolonged coldness of the winter here.

Finally we must thank Phillip Simmonds, the farmer/landowner who is very kindly allowing visitors entry to the field for a fee of £5. As we have said before, it is open minded and forward thinking people like Phillip who add to all of our enjoyment of this amazing phenomenon. Please do pay to go in and take the same amount with you to help reimburse others this summer. 

Crop Circle Summary


Old Sarum, Wiltshire

Crop Type

Oil Seed Rape


3D ring design comprising laid circles and pathways within an outer laid circle.

Date of First Sighting


Survey Date


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