Ground Report Uffington Castle
I'm not sure it's on Woolstone
Hill, it's on the flat ground at the bottom of Dragonhill Lane. i.e. the
closest arable field to Uffington 'Castle' (iron age fort)
Some people have tramped through
the growing crop by the shortest route possible, from the junction of
the Dragonhill road with the Lambourn valley by-way, where it's possible
to park 2 or 3 cars. Please take an extra 2 minutes to walk along the
by-way 50m to the gateway on the right. From there you can go straight
in to the tramlines parallel with the road without causing any damage.
Take the 2nd tramline on the left after the field hedge to
come straight into the formation.
The formation is in well-advanced
winter barley about 80cm tall and is softly laid to a variety of
different degrees. Some parts are laid almost flat but most are laid at
'half-pressure' with many stalks still standing interspersed in the lay.
Nearly all the half-laid stalks were bent from the base rather than the
nodes, so the whole stalks were leaning at the same angle. Some nice
features I saw and which you might be able to see on the photos, were
the flow of interweaving stalks in the more fully laid sections; the
chequerboard effect of the 'half-laid' sections; and the smooth
transitions between the two. The formation was very little trampled and
in excellent condition at 17:00 on Sunday.
The most unusual feature was where
the rings cross the tramlines. Many people will have noticed in other
formations that the less mature corn stalks growing in the tramlines are
typically unaffected by the circle-making force where this crosses the
tramlines, so that in a fresh circle these stalks remain standing while
the crop on both sides is laid. I have always assumed this to be because
of their immaturity and higher water content, rather than their
position. However in this formation, there were hardly any stalks
growing in the actual tramlines, but there were still very clear thin
rows of upright stalks just where the circles crossed them. These thin
strips are actually from the main blocks of crop and are as well grown
as the rest. Somehow the laying force has started from the non-tramline
side of them and has left them unaffected. Perhaps a portion of the
force which 'should have' impacted these first rows of corn has been
diverted down the tramlines and the process has recommenced thereafter.
Has anyone seen this before?
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