We report results from experiments performed at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory using the VULCAN laser facility (I≫5×1019 W cm-2). Single wire targets were used, and on some shots additional objects were placed near the target. These were positioned so that they were not irradiated by the laser. Proton emission from single wire targets was observed as radially symmetric structures (“stripes”) in both the forward and backward directions, and was due to plasma sheath acceleration around the wire. The presence of objects in the vicinity of the interaction had a significant effect on the angular emission pattern of protons from the primary target. Importantly, the secondary object was also observed to be a source of energetic proton emission. © 2004 American Institute of Physics.