Published on Thursday 1 September 2011 10:26
The crop circle near Hawkhill
There has been much speculation about the creation which appeared two weeks ago in a field near Hawkhill, between Alnwick and Alnmouth, on land belonging to the Northumberland Estates’ Percy Farms.
But the Estates confirmed that people were seen making the circles in the field on August 19, describing it as ‘vandalism’.
James Frater, chairman of the Northumberland branch of the National Farmers’ Union, also condemned the creation of the crop circle.
“It’s trespass, it’s vandalism, it’s stealing, it’s whatever you want to call it, it’s breaking the law,” he said.
“That area won’t be able to be combined and it won’t be able to be harvested unless they are lucky.
“If it’s on about an acre of land, at about three or four tonnes an acre at £150 or £160 each, that’s £500 so it’s a costly thing.
“If someone broke windows to that amount, they would be in trouble. People have been locked up for doing far less in the riots.
“People may say that it’s the Duke’s land and he can afford it, but can they? And it happens to small farms as well, it’s just stupidity.”
Mr Frater was also concerned that it may inspire others to do the same thing.
“That’s the danger,” he said. “That somebody sees it and says that looks fun, but it will cost a lot of money.
“They are stealing because they are taking money away from that farm.
“It doesn’t only happen to the big landowners. What about the guy next door with 100 acres?
“It will happen to him and he cannot afford to lose £500.”
A spokeswoman for the Northumberland Estates said: “I can confirm that the damage occurred on Estate land. People were seen making crop circles in the field on August 19.
“While some might see it as an amusing prank, it is in fact vandalism which has resulted in part of a wheat crop being destroyed and wildlife being disturbed at a time when many birds and animals are busy rearing their young.”
The Gazette was first alerted to its appearance by author Celia Gunn, who has investigated crop circles and the energy that may be behind them for over 20 years.
Mrs Gunn, who grew up in Alnwick but now lives in Wiltshire, was up visiting her mother and was excited to see a circle in Northumberland as they are very rare up here - she only knew of one other report.
“Once you have got involved with the whole phenomenom, you always keep an eye out on fields that haven’t been harvested yet,” she said.
“It’s the second one in Northumberland to my knowledge. There was one near Hexham in the ‘80s. It was exciting to see it up here, it was almost welcoming me home.
“Some are man-made, but my point about the man-made ones is that you never know what inspires a human being to to produce a work of art, because that’s what they are.”