Tarlton Down, Nr Cherlington, Gloucestershire. Reported 18th April

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Updated Wednesday 19th  April 2017

 

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Field report 21st April 

Keen croppies will remember the name Tarlton for another somewhat indistinct April crop circle, in 2015 that one was about three fields away and in young wheat. It's a curious location, not close to any of the known ancient monuments of the area and totally invisible from any road or settlement. However, there is an ancient trackway adjacent, part of which is still a byway and part a little-used footpath. 

The formation is easier to see than you might expect from the aerials and seems to be a week or two old, judging by the browning of the broken stems and the extent of the regrowth. Like most crop formations, it's much more complex at close quarters than you might think from the grainy drone views. Most laid stems had been flattened at ground level by the force of the circlemaking event, many partly broken, some entirely separated from the roots and few ripped out of the ground, as is typical with oilseed rape. The vast majority of plants however are still living, with the stems bent upwards at about 15cm-20cm from the roots, where the plants have grown back towards the light. Within the 'laid' parts of the formation, many plants are also still erect and unaffected by the circlemaking event, giving the fuzzy or chequered appearance.  

As far as I could tell, the formation has received very few visits, possibly only one careful visitor in fact (it's possible to get into rape without leaving any path if very careful): I saw a few bent-aside stalks but no muddy footprints or obvious man-made damage (and it rained the night before last).  

In short, it's nothing special but well worth a visit if you've never seen an untrampled oilseed rape formation. 

Directions: From the A419 Cirencester Rd, take the minor road south towards Rodmarton from the White Horses pub. Straight across the first cross roads; road turns sharp left, then where it turns sharp right, go straight on, east. Park at the next right angled bend where the road crosses the byway, in amongst the trees.



How to access the formation without damaging the crop:
Walk southwest down the by-way amongst the trees, with the rapeseed field on your right. The formation is half way along the field. However, walk along the byway right to the end of the field (500m) first, before crossing the two-strand barbed wire fence this is the where the tramlines start or come closest to the field edge. Walk back along the tramline from the corner, the way you have come, and almost immediately fork left into another tramline going off at a diagonal. This brings you out at the top of the main circle and just below the satellite circles. No need to trample any crop! 

Gramail


 

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Mark Fussell & Stuart Dike

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