Did Lockdown Stop The Crop Circles?
On 23 March 2022 the British government issued a ‘stay at home’ directive, plunging the country into lockdown to slow the spread of Covid-19. It has been said in some quarters that lockdown halted the appearance of crop circles in England until restrictions were lifted on 10 May 2020 when two people from different households were allowed to meet outside. Is there any truth to this and, if so, what’s the proof?
On 25 May a hoaxed crop circle ‘tribute’ (deliberate punctuation!) to the NHS and keyworkers was reported from Somerset. Make of this what you will, but it reflected the time that barley could be flattened and not immediately spring back up.
The next formation was reported on 28 May at Potterne, Wiltshire. This is notable date as it coincided with the further easing of restrictions. Up to six people from different households could meet up outside. However, had the circle been in the field for some time before it was reported? We can’t be certain.
Moving on, some have suggested that if there was no lockdown we would have seen circles put down in early to mid-May … but it isn’t necessarily so. A lot depends on the date by which the crops are flattenable. (You can’t make a crop circle in unsuitable crop and very few circle makers are hardy enough to venture in oilseed rape fields.) In 2019 the first circle of the season appeared on 25 May in barley. That’s no different to 2020. By way of comparison, in 2018 there was one oilseed rape circle reported on 8 May and nothing else until 26 May. In 2017 there were 13 circles reported by the 28 May, whilst 2016 gave us just three.
From this information we can be quietly confident that the British lockdown did not delay the start of the 2020 season.