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After two maize formations, the very final UK crop design of the season appeared in the last place anyone expected… at Kew Gardens, London!

Although the dramatic Crooked Soley ‘DNA’ formation near Hungerford seems to have been officially deemed the last UK formation of 2002, there have, in fact, been two more events since then, both rather unexpected.

In mid September, two modest but intriguing circles appeared at Alton Barnes a week or so apart from each other – both in sweetcorn maize! Formations have been found in this crop before – not least in the recent ‘Signs’ movie – but are very rare in the UK. Given how formidable the stems on maize are, the formations, one laid radially with a standing centre, the other a more conventionally laid ring, were a fascinating comparison to crop laid down in more conventional crops. Several of the stems had actually been uprooted, as if with some force, yet the stems were bent and not broken, as Mel Gibson might say.

However, it was the design which appeared around 16th September which gained press and television attention. London, sometimes amusingly scoffed at for having one of the few remaining successfully active Centre for Crop Circle Studies branches, but no actual crop formations, suddenly had the last laugh by producing a flower-of-life pattern in a crop grown at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew!

The five-acre wheat crop was being grown as a demonstration of how fields were grown in years past without pesticides or herbicides, full of wild flowers. Despite having an eight feet high wall around the enclosure, the 60ft pattern arrived one night, without any break-ins being reported by security staff.

After the press coverage, Kew received many visitors to the formation, who were able to look down on it from a nearby mound. Though the flower design is slightly askew in its geometry, its cheekiness has given it charm to the media and further intrigue was stirred by a spate of UFO sightings in the nearby Tolworth area…



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