As you all may be well aware the tourist industry in Wiltshire is worth a considerable amount, a conservative estimate being around £1 billion per annum. Cropcircles, like them or not, support this figure by an incalculable but substantial amount most probably. Hotels, pubs, B and B’s restaurants, gift and tea shops and coach tours to name but a few all benefit from their presence. Cropcircles have been a recurring theme now for well over 30 years and arguably some of this industry has built up and prospered around them.
We at CGI (Core Group Initiative) are all too aware of the added workload and inconvenience Cropcircles put upon a farmers already demanding day. The potential and actual damage to crop and farm infrastructure is obvious. CGI assist farmers in this regard by way of people, land and traffic management at completely no cost to the farmers concerned thereby allowing the farmers to get on with the business of farming, free of worry and lessening the social tension for all. This free service given by our team of devoted members will be present ‘at the gate’ to greet, deal with and direct the visiting public in an organised and coordinated way. Educating them on such matters as farmer respect and visiting etiquette being prime to their role. Established good working relations with the local police force who routinely advise on such matters as car security are called upon as needed. Farmers themselves would obviously also be consulted and advised on such matters as fencing issues, visitor routing and parking areas. In other words, an active working relationship between all three parties.
Another aspect of CGI is a money/farmer donation collection service. Over the last four years this has been a great success with some local farmers and has this year grown. Local charities such as Brighter Futures, The Fluency Trust based in Swindon, St James’ Church central heating fund, Avebury, Prospect Hospice, M.D.N. I.A (Marlborough Downs Nature Improvement Area) trust having benefited substantially. This aspect is offered to farmers on a ‘choice and choose’ basis, farmers choosing which charity, usually local and what percentage to give. (Some farmers retain a percentage for damage others not).
The fact is Cropcircles are an inconvenient fact and show no sign of abating. CGI accepts this and wish to help farmers and community in a positive way to ‘make best of a bad lot’. As founder member and coordinator of CGI I would ask more farmers in the area to give this formulation a go…try it next season and see how it works. Up until now though it seems to work well. Farmer references upon request.
‘Cooperating with farmers’ is CGI’s motto!
Paul Jacobs for CGI.