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
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!