THE North York Moors National Park Authority’s giant land art to mark Stage Three of this year’s Tour de Yorkshire cycle race on May 1 has been unveiled on the top of Sutton Bank.
The whopping 70-metre high, 40-metre wide white painting on the grassy airfield at the Yorkshire Gliding Club is adjacent to one of the race’s toughest ascents and has re-created the animals that appear on the Hambleton District coat of arms.
Entitled ‘The Finest View’, the art work is nearly as large as the Kilburn White Horse, and will come into view as the helicopters broadcasting live coverage of the race track the cyclists’ ascent of the Côte de Sutton Bank.
An expected audience of six million worldwide will see a horse atop a penny farthing with a ram perched on its shoulders and a boar sitting aloft holding a telescope looking out at what ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ author and vet James Alfred Wight, known by his pen name James Herriot, declared was “the finest view in England”.
In the coat of arms, the three creatures signify characteristics of the area. The boar represents the domesticated pigs that were turned out in the Forest of Galtres close to York, one of the Royal Forests created in Norman times; the Cleveland Bay horse highlights the breed’s local origins while the ram signifies the importance of agriculture in the area.
The artwork took the Landmark Collective, comprising artists Becky Newbould, Rob Conway, James Brunt, Timm Cleasby and Cath Smart 14 days to complete using 1000 litres of white biodegradable pitch-marking paint that will fade over the coming months.
Richard Gunton director of park services for the North York Moors National Park Authority, said: “With the cameras panning across the countryside, the land art will give the millions of people watching the Tour de Yorkshire on TV a ‘boar’s-eye’ view of the spectacular scenery that makes our National Park a real must-see, as one of Yorkshire’s best-loved authors rightly identified!
The National Park is also organising a cycling festival on the Sunday at its visitor centres at Sutton Bank and Danby.
As well as both National Park Centres having big screens showing live coverage of the race, spectators can enjoy a full day out with a host of family-friendly cycling related entertainment lined up and food on offer throughout Sunday.
At Sutton Bank, youngsters aged between four and 12 can take part in a fun time-trial from 10.30am with Sutton Bank Bikes, riding bikes around a short course with a practise lap and up to three further laps to record their fastest time. Prizes go to the best fancy dress and the fastest time.
While at The Moors National Park Centre at Danby, where celebrations will coincide with the ruby anniversary of the building opening as a visitor centre, there will be a circus skills workshop, pedal-powered Scalextric and a chance to try riding a real penny farthing.
For more information look on www.northyorkmoors.org.uk/tourdeyorkshire