Crop circle visitors to Wiltshire asked to buy access pass

Crop circle at Honey Street
Image caption Under the proposal farmers will be paid based on the size of the crop circle

Crop circle tourists who want to visit Wiltshire's formations are being asked to buy an access pass.

The pass, which starts on 28 June, is an effort to minimise damage to land and help compensate affected farmers.

Under the scheme, farmers who agree to give visitors access to crop circles on their land will be given the money raised from the sale of the new passes.

Organisers said they could not enforce payment but hoped visitors would "see the benefit and participate".

By June 2012 more than 10 crop circle formations were discovered across the county.

This year, due to adverse weather conditions delaying crops by up to six weeks, there have been three.

Despite the low numbers, the Crop Circle Information and Co-ordination Centre (CICC) has warned that farmers are more likely than ever to cut formations out of their fields.

"In the past there was no structure, no co-ordination and the farmers were the last to be informed - which created a lot of chaos," said Monique Klinkenbergh, CICC director and one of the people behind the new scheme.

Image caption Due to adverse weather, only three formations have been created this year

"They [farmers] have all those uninvited guests trampling across their fields and they have a huge loss of income because of the crops."

'Reduce the friction'

With the honesty box system "not working in practice" to compensate farmers, it is hoped the new access permits will "reduce the friction" between the farming community and crop circle enthusiasts.

"We fly every morning to see if there are any new formations and if there are, and if there is access, people will be able to buy passes," said Ms Klinkenbergh.

"The money will go to the farmer and will depend on how big the formation is.

"Sometimes we have formations of only a few metres in diameter and sometimes they are extremely large, so we'll have to put figures on it. But I think it will be around £500 to £1,000."

James Shepherd, from the National Farmers Union, said if the scheme worked it could be a benefit.

"Having more controlled access and things done in an orderly fashion might make it better for everybody," he said.

"But it will depend on how well the scheme is taken up."

Crop Circle Access passes ranging from £7.50 to £10.00 for a day pass and £40 to £60 for a season ticket will be available on the CICC website from 28 June.

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