Taken from The Official Papers as seen below:
Hope you are doing well. I am looking forward to the new crop circle season to start, a crop circle season that hopefully will benefit all of us. I am writing to inform you about some recent developments and to invite you attend a meeting with local authorities and farmers to discuss ways of bringing together the sometimes different interests of farmers, crop circle researchers, tour- and conference organizers and the many visitors attracted to the area by crop circles. The background is that there is a huge interest in crop circles, from a number of different perspectives. They attract a huge number of overseas visitors to Wiltshire. However, this interest can only be sustained and developed if farmers are not adversely affected by visitors. Until now the farming community is badly affected by what is happening in their fields. As a result of this and to avoid further problems, farmers are encouraged to cut formations straight away out of their fields. A development which hopefully can be turned around. Last year Derek Viner and I have been working on new ways and possibilities to reduce the friction between the farming community and those who like to visit formations. In august we consulted Mrs Claire Perry - member of parliament for Wiltshire Constituency - and asked her for help/leadership in this matter, which resulted in a meeting earlier this month with local authorities and farmers to discuss the potential for a new sustainable approach to crop circles, with an aim of finding a way of compensating farmers in return for them allowing access to their land. This meeting took place in the Wiltshire Museum in Devizes on March 8th, was chaired by Claire Perry and attended by many farmers and others associated with them, a representative of the National Farmers Union, the director of the Devizes Museum, the CEO of Visit Wiltshire and a Director from Wiltshire Council and myself. This meeting made an encouraging start and the farmers themselves expressed a desire to meet soon with crop circle researchers, tour- and conference organizers. We do hope you feel the same. I am looking forward to hear from you if you are able to attend the meeting which will take place on Friday 12th April at 11am in the Wiltshire Museum, Devizes. Very best wishes, Monique Klinkenbergh www.cropcirclegroup.com firstname.lastname@example.org Derek Viner email@example.com
Notes: The meeting will be by invitation only. Invited: Steve and Karen Alexander, Francine Blake, Eva-Marie Brekkesto, Glen and Cameron Broughton, Paul Jacobs, Bert Janssen and Heather Clewett, Mark Fussel, Michael Glickman, Frank Laumen, Charles Malllett, Andreas Muller, Janet Ossebaard, Lucy Pringle, Guenther Schermann, Busty Taylor, Maria Wheatly
Crop Circle Access Pass & Crop Circle access control Why:
Enabling affected farmers to gain a real benefit (not some coins in a donation box) and minimizing the disruption and damage done to farming. Allowing for the reasonable needs of tourists and the associated economics benefits of the Wiltshire community. Allowing serious researchers/scientists into formations. Crop Circle Coordination and Information Centre Wiltshire Why: A central coordination & information mechanism is essential to structure the situation. A new Crop Circle Coordination and Information Centre will evolve out of the existing Crop Circle Information Centre The Silent Circle and will be directed by Monique Klinkenbergh, Charles Mallet and Derek Viner. The Centre will be operational on the ground (and through the internet) from early June 2013. Location: to be announced in the coming weeks (we are looking at several options) Some preliminary ideas.
Crop Circle Access Pass (CAP) Crop Circle Coordination Information Centre (CCIC) Protocol Acces Control
1. When a new formation is found, the CCIC will first inform the farmer and ask if theyll allow visitors. 2. If so, the farmer need to decide on an acceptable access point and route and advise the CCIC of this. 3. If not, the CCIC makes it clear (through the Centre and its website) that access is not allowed and does not publish any detailed information as to its location. 4. CCIC marks approved access points on display maps, on the website and an App. 5. CCIC sends a volunteer off to set up a sign at this access point. Sign needs to be designed and probably approved if it is likely to be mounted near a public road. Need to check the requirements. 6. Farmer and/or CCIC arrange for volunteers to man the access point daily between agreed times (eg. 8am to 8pm 7 days a week). Access only on presentation of a CAP. Volunteers 1. Volunteers to be organized by the CCIC.
2. Sources of volunteers - regular visitors, locals, farmers families, retired people, local service clubs and church groups. Retired people could well be the back bone of it, given the numbers needed - see item 6. 3. Volunteers would need to be authorized and to carry with them a document proving this and probably some distinctive item of clothing, eg. a high visibility vest (which may be needed anyway if they are deemed to be working near a public road). Alternatively, volunteers may be encouraged by being given a shirt with the CCIC logo (and year of issue on it). 4. Volunteers would need to be given some training in how to behave, especially if people try to get past them without a CAP. 5. Volunteers could issue a temporary pass on payment of, say 3 Pounds per person and this pass could be then used by the visitor to obtain a discount when they purchase a properpass. This temporary pass would only be valid for the crop circle at which it was issued and for a defined period, say three days. Each volunteer would need to account for the money taken and the temporary passes given out so a system is needed for this. 6. If there are 40 crop circles at the height of the season, and there are 12 hours control per day at 4 hours per volunteer then we would need 120 volunteers per day. Lots of logistical problems. A volunteer organizer will be needed.
Legal and liability
Legal advice will be needed about the obligations the CCIC will have regarding volunteers and the need for insurance. Perhaps it is possible to cover this under Wiltshire Council existing volunteer insurances? In this case, the CCIC would need to be set up with some form of recognition by the Council.
CROP CIRCLE ACCESS PASS (CAP) 1
. All money deriving from CAP will go to the farmers. 2. A CAP need to be for a limited time, eg. two weeks? A CAP any longer, eg. 3 months, will make it highly likely that passes could be transferred by a person leaving the area to a person newly arriving, unless a picture is shown on the pass. This period needs to be carefully chosen, as does the price. The price may need to depend on the number of formations available at the time of purchase, perhaps based on a notional fee of 3 Pounds per formation. 2. A season ticket pass should be available. Price could be based on an assumed 40 formations and 1.5 Pounds per formation or similar. 3.The validity period needs to be clearly marked on the pass so that it is easily read by an access control volunteer. 4. The pass needs to say that it is issued to the purchaser only and is not transferable. Ideally, passes should contain a picture of the pass holder to prevent this. It may not be too hard to provide all ticket issuing places with the means of doing this. The pass should say that it must be presented on request of the volunteers at access points. 5. A temporary access pass is required for issue by volunteers to people who arrive without a CAP, see item 5 under Volunteers.
6. Places from which it can be obtained: all centers likely to have Crop Circle Visitors. Advertising People need to know that this season is different. A flyer should be made and delivered to all centres likely to have crop circle visitors - B&Bs, Hotels, Pubs, Cafes. Also to all known tour leaders etc. (worldwide). At all places where CAPs can be purchased, there should be a poster explaining the system and why it has been introduced. Process.
Derek Viner and Monique Klinkenbergh
Crop Circles and farmers; is there a better way? Summary of Meeting – 12 April 2013 Purpose of the meeting:
The aim of the meeting is to discuss the potential for a new sustainable approach to crop circles - finding a way to encourage farmers to allow access to their land. For this to take place, then those who visit sites must act responsibly and there would need to be a revenue stream to compensate the farming community. This initiative has been developed by Derek Viner (a local resident), Monique Klinkenbergh (Crop Circle Information Centre), and has been supported by David Dawson (Director of the Wiltshire Museum in Devizes) and David Andrews (CEO of VisitWiltshire). An initial meeting with the farming community was held on 8 March 2013, and was chaired by Claire Perry, MP. Location: Wiltshire Museum, Devizes Attendees Chair David Dawson, Director of the Wiltshire Museum, Devizes Farming Community: Mrs Ann Brown, Manor Farm, Aldbourne Mrs Jilly Carter; Manton Grange, Manton, near Marlborough Mr Tim Carson, Manor Farm, Alton Barnes Mr Robert Cooper; East Farm, Winterbourne Monkton Gill Hussey; Weir Farm, Broad Hinton Mr James Read; Church Farm, Stanton St. Bernard Mr James Sheppard, Poulton Farm Estate, near Marlborough Mrs Andrea Witcombe; NFU (National Farmers Union) county advisor for Wiltshire Crop Circle Community: Researchers/Conference /Tour organizers: Steve and Karen Alexander Glenn Broughton Denni Clarke Michael Glickman Paul Jacobs Lucy Pringle Busty Taylor Maria Wheatly PC Mark Randle, Rural Crime Team, Wiltshire Police Mrs Monique Klinkenbergh, Crop Circle Information Centre.
Meeting Summary David Dawson (Chair): Opening and Welcome to all the invitees. Mrs Claire Perry, Member of Parliament for the Devizes Constituency sent a personal message to open the meeting:
“Thank you so much for attending this meeting today, I am sorry that due to an existing diary engagement that I am unable to be here. I was delighted to attend the initial meeting held on 8 March and felt that the discussion was extremely productive. I know that the large numbers of crop circles in this part of Wiltshire offers many opportunities for the local economy, but that the needs of landowners must to be carefully considered. I would be delighted if some kind of ticketing system could be developed going forward.” David outlined the background of the meeting: there is a huge interest in crop circles. Many tourists who visit the County are interested in crop circles, and do not know where they can go or that there is a Code of Conduct that they should follow. There are several major conferences a year which attract significant numbers of overseas visitors. However, this interest can only be sustained and developed if farmers are not adversely affected by visitors. The aim of the meeting was to discuss ways in which farmers could be encouraged to allow access to crop circles on their land, if those who visited acted responsibly and if they could be compensated them for reduced crop yields. His interest in the topic was to enable crop circles to be promoted and appreciated, encouraging visitors to come to Wiltshire and stay in the area, bringing economic benefits. David emphasised that crop circles were not actively promoted to visitors to Wiltshire because of the difficulties over access. In turn, this hampered the opportunity to promote the Crop Circle Code of Conduct. He also outlined the way in which the Portable Antiquities Scheme had dramatically reduced the conflict and tension between detectorists. The Scheme has reduced illegal and illicit detecting and damage to farmers crops and protected archaeological sites. For Crop Circles, there was an opportunity to develop a crop circle ‘pass’ - similar in principle to an angling licence. David outlined that the aim of the meeting was to discus the idea of a mechanism which would enable access to be given to crop formations, while enabling farmers to be compensated for loss and damage to their crops. Any discussion regarding the origin of crop circles should be avoided. Monique Klinkenbergh: a Crop Circle Coordination & Information Centre for Wiltshire: Monique Klinkenbergh outlined the idea of a central coordination & information centre that would be of benefit for all parties and could bring order the current chaotic situation. Monique recently decided to close her Crop Circle Centre Centre in The
Netherlands to proceed in Wiltshire. Her proposed Crop Circle Coordination and Information Centre would evolve from the existing Crop Circle Information Centre “The Silent Circle” and would be directed by Derek Viner, Monique Klinkenbergh and Charles Mallet. Monique is aiming for the Centre to be operational from mid June 2013.
Farmers: brief introduction and key issues:
Most farmers see crop circles as criminal damage and vandalism and would like this to stop. They believe by cutting circles out, they will discourage the appearance of further circles on their land and therefore uninvited visitors, problems and damage. A group of 9 farmers across the Vale of Pewsey Vale have agreed to cut all formations immediately they appear. Two farmers pointed out that crop circles also brought positive experiences, for visitors and themselves. Some farmers commented that they do not like to encourage people to visit crop circles. Farmers and NFU does not like to see the Wiltshire Tourist organization promoting the crop circles as a visitor attraction. Farmers were angered and frustrated by some threatening behavior after cutting circles out, or denying access to them. Famers believe donation boxes do not work, as they are broken into and stolen, sometimes by people who use vehicles to take the boxes away. These thefts were not always reported to the police. The Police are concerned about dangerous parking and thefts from vehicles. Farmers explained that crop circle have a significant impact upon their business, with an estimate cost of £500-£1,000 for each circle in lost yields and other costs. Some crops grown for seed have a much higher value. Visitors sometimes park in locations that are dangerous or block farm access. Farmers also talked about public liability – they may be liable in the case of an injury to someone while they are on their land, even if they are there without the farmers permission and ignore warning signs and the Country Code Crop circle enthusiasts often stay in farmhouse B&Bs or holiday cottages. A famer commented that last season visitors were complaining about conflicts within the cropcircle (research) community, which made them reluctant to return to Wiltshire. Farmers are angered that they feel they are the last to know they have a circle on their land. Information and images are being put up on websites before the farmers themselves know. Farmers want to be guaranteed they will be compensated “fully” for all the losses they incur when a circle appears on their farm, before they will consider not cutting them out. They feel that they should be able to profit from any circle. One farmer commented that a guarantee of a payment as soon as the circle appeared would make him and other farmers reconsider cutting the circles out. The average cost for a circle would need to be established.
Researchers, tour leaders and conference organizers: thoughts on “a better way”
Farmers concerns and anger has been fully heard by the “CC Community ” and it became clear that a solution is needed. It was outlined that we are now dealing with a situation where both communities stood to lose out. It should be possible to turn this into a win-win situation. It was pointed out that no one had control over when and where Crop Circles appeared It was outlined that one contact/communication/coordination-point between farmers and the CC Community would be very helpful. Some people within off the CC Community already made serious efforts to reduce the friction. The Crop Circle Code of Conduct was agreed to be very helpful and needs a reprint. Farmers were invited to attend Crop Circle Conferences and, if they wished, to speak about the issues. It was suggested that people could pay a modest fee of £2‐3 to access a CC. This cost is very cheap when compared to other visitor attractions. Raising the suggested payment may help collect a more satisfactory amount with which to compensate farmers. Paul Jacobs outlined his CGI initiative at the meeting, offering a group of volunteers to man fields to welcome visitors and to collect money for the farmers. Paul currently has a small group of 6 volunteers willing to do this in 2013. However six is a small number, and if the number of formations were similar to those in 2012, then more volunteers would be needed.
Monique Klinkenbergh: A Crop Circle Access Pass;
a possible idea to permit access to crop formations while compensating famers for loss and damage. Outlined the idea of a Crop Circle Access Pass - the purpose of which is to properly compensate farmers for the crop loss and inconvenience of large numbers of visitors on their land. It would also help to control over access by informing visitors of the Code of Conduct and identifying agreed access routes). Many of the issues discussed at the meeting had been taken into account in a basic plan for the Access Pass. As there was no time left to discuss this in detail, it was agreed that the plan be emailed to those who had attended the meeting. Review and agree next steps. It was agreed that the current situation is unsustainable, particularly in this economic climate and when farm incomes have been badly hit by poor weather. It was agreed that there is an urgent need to consider change. David Dawson suggested a small group be formed who would be willing to investigate the Access Pass & Access Control plan in greater detail and report back to those present at this meeting.
Members of the implementation group:
CC Community: Steve and Karen Alexander, Glenn Broughton, Denni Clarke, Michael Glickman, Paul Jacobs, Monique Klinkenbergh, Lucy Pringle, Busty Taylor and Derek Viner. Farming community: James Sheppard (Poulton Farm Estate) and Andrea Witcombe (National Farmers Union). Wiltshire Police: Mark Randle, Rural Crime Team It was agreed that the implementation group will present their discussions to the next meeting which will take place mid May at the Wiltshire Museum. David Dawson and Monique Klinkenbergh; 29.4.2013