How has foot-and-mouth disease, which closed off access to the English countryside for much of the summer, affected the number of crop circles that have appeared this year?

According to BBC News, the numbers have increased dramatically.

Wiltshire farmer Tim Carson had only one new circle appear on his land this year, until restrictions were lifted a month ago. ?I had a phone call to ask if the footpaths were open round our way,? he says. ?I said ?Yes,? and that night a crop circle appeared. Read into that what you will.? He adds, ?We had one circle during the restrictions and then the footpaths were reopened and we have had six since then.?

The circles are a familiar sight on Carson?s land at Manor Farm in Alton Barnes, near Marlborough. He knows that at least two of this year?s circles are man-made because the circle-makers asked permission first. ?Two of them I know about because someone was making a film, and he asked me if he could make them. It?s a love story and it?s got crop circles in it.?

The Disney film, Signs, is about circles appearing on a family farm in Philadelphia. It may be a hopeful sign that filmmakers are finally taking a look at the crop circle phenomenon, after the media has ignored and misrepresented it for years. Like many farmers, Carson is annoyed by the fakes. ?It?s a waste of crops, trespass and criminal damage,? he says. But he doesn?t think they?ll all fake. ?My neighbor?s just had one that?s absolutely massive. If you work it out, it?s not dark for that many hours in summer, and this consists of about 300 separate circles. There must have been a circle made every 30 seconds. It would have taken an army to do that, and there’s no way an army could have gone undetected. It?s something that defies belief.?

These mysterious circles remain until the crops grow upwards again, eventually obscuring the design, although of them disappear when the crop is harvested. ?We?ve removed two already and the other five won?t stay much longer,? says Carson.

To see the gloriously beautiful Cambridge Angel and all the latest crop circles, go to Cropcircleconnector.

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