DORSET is a top tourist destination but it looks like we could have attracted some visitors of the extra-terrestrial variety.

This crop circle has appeared in a field near Maiden Castle, Dorchester.

A member of the public spotted it as they were taking a stroll at the top of Maiden Castle and called in experts Mr Gyro- an aerial and ground photography company- who came down to Dorset and took these photos.

Crop circles, or crop formations, are patterns produced by flattening crops.

Although experts agree they are man-made although some people claim there are mysterious forces behind the patterns.

The number of crop circles in the UK has declined over recent years.

But this isn't the first one to appear in Dorset in 2015.

In May, the Echo reported that an impressive crop circle, in a Celtic design, had appeared in a field at Thornicombe, near Blandford.

Dan, from the Mr Gyro team, said: "We film circles just for fun, the circle was reported by a member of the public who spotted it whilst walking along the top of Maiden Castle.

"We drive all over the country in the same way storm chasers do but we are circle chasers.

"The designs are quite interesting and you never know what you're going to get until you get there.

"Then of course there is the mystery behind how they got there. The circles are often reported by members of the public, pilots and sometimes farmers themselves."

Farmers have reported finding strange circles in their fields for centuries. The earliest mention of a crop circle dates back to the 1500s.

Mentions of crop circles were rare until the 20th century, when circles began appearing in the 1960s and '70s in England and the United States. But the phenomenon didn't gain attention until 1980, when a farmer in Wiltshire county, England, discovered three circles, about 60 feet (18 meters) across each, in his oat crops. UFO researchers and media descended on the farm, and the world first began to learn about crop circles.

By the 1990s, crop circles had become something of a tourist attraction. In 1990 alone, more than 500 circles emerged in Europe. Within the next few years, there were thousands. Visitors came from around the world to see them. Some farmers even charged admission to their mysterious attractions.

Photographer Shaun Matthews has started snapping crop circles this year and came to Dorset to take a look at this one.

He said that people interested in crop circles can sign up to an app which tells them when a new one has been spotted.

He added that crop circles stay for as long as the farmer allows, but sometimes it can be upsetting for them as they lose money on the crops.

"There are probably about 50-60 a year and they keep being spotted right up until mid-August. July is the best time of year for them."

Although the formations are man-made, Mr Matthews said sometimes the intricacies of the patters can make one have doubts.

"There was one in Wiltshire and I just thought 'there's a hell of a lot of work that has gone in to that. I did find it hard to believe it was human, it must have taken a lot of people."