Comment on Uffcott Down Bird CC.
This new and novel idea was that of the farmer James Hussey. To halve the CC down the middle allows one half to remain in pristine condition for all later to see as in a ’day one’ condition. In a political climate where currently CCs are a bit sparse on the ground, to put it mildly, this seems to make sense. It is also gratifying to see a farmer working proactively to make the event successful; this as we all know is almost unheard of.
“Say cheese.” Even the horse is grinning! All smiles up here on the hill!
Farmer checking out the CC.
We all know foot-tread takes its toll on the ground lay which will be considerable in this case as we expect many visitors in the forthcoming weeks before the CC is harvested. The circle at the top of the formation is large enough to allow a good number of visitors in one half whilst the other can be seen in tip-top condition the other side of the twine. We may open the whole of this part soon, the top circular feature for people to commune in a ring.
But probably just as importantly, from a social perspective, this approach will be, in a sense some sort of ‘test’ in as much as we are being given the opportunity to show RESPECT by abiding by the farmers wishes. I believe we have reached a crossroads in CC history where all is change and visitors behaviour patterns and habits will need to be reviewed, to adjust if any sort of workable future is to be had.
Good example of 'Energy Leak'
The plain and simple truth of the matter is that if CGI were not here helping the farmer in the way that they are this CC, namely the ‘Eagle, Phoenix’ or Thunderbird, call it what you will, would not be accessible and possibly even be cut. So in a way we should be grateful I suppose and do as much as we can, both in terms of groups and also as individuals to foster good relations locally by doing the right thing and adopting a positive approach towards this change. We simply cannot reference the past to justify the future; change happens and we need to adapt. The alternative I fear, is that rather than come to Wiltshire looking for a CC experience in the summer we will all end up going to ‘the beach’ and eat ice cream! (My English SOH!)
Example of 'Split Edging
I also believe that the primary catalyst for this period of change will be the Brighter Futures Appeal for a Radiotherapy Unit in Swindon. This may well unite the farmers and local people as we are all potentially going to need such a thing sometime in our lives. I believe that this common goal will convert so much frustrated, wasted, negative and angry energy into motivation and productivity…and what a relief that will be! All the negativists will surely be left behind.
But surprisingly, what CGI are doing and have been doing very successfully for the last four years now is that the main supporters are the hundreds, possibly thousands of visiting public, including an increasing number of local people, that pretty much unanimously realise what we are doing is a good thing. We practically get no encouragement or promotion from the well known personalities and long time players with just a few exceptions. You may well ask why? But as I said before…”You pays ya money and makes ya choice” I guess .
This initiative needs all the support and encouragement it can get as it is in everybody's interest and in a place where negative energy plays no role whatsoever. I have to tell you there is an overwhelming sense of positivity up here; so wonderful to be part of this at such a potentially crucial time in CC history.
Paul Jacobs (CGI)