The land art of sheep in a bicyle shape created by Coddington farmer Des Allen last year.
The land art of sheep in a bicyle shape created by Coddington farmer Des Allen last year.

A farmer whose sheep formed the shape of a giant bicycle (above) as Tour of Britain helicopters flew overhead last year is the inspiration for a new competition linked to the race when it returns to the Newark area in September.

The efforts of Coddington farmer Mr Des Allen went viral on social media.

Organisers of the tour have called on Newark and Sherwood people to bowl them over with similar eye-catching land and water art alongside the route this year.

The tradition of creating artwork along the route has long been a practice at the tour, as well as other major cycle races, but this is the first time the tour has held a competition to find the best piece.

The winner will receive a trophy and commemorative Tour of Britain prizes.

Community groups, schools, businesses and landowners across Britain have been encouraged to take part in the competition, which will cover the whole route.

Mr Allen said: "We were staggered by the response that our small efforts received last year.

"We did it as a bit of fun and the response was fantastic.

"I would urge people to have a go; from a little bit of effort it is sometimes amazing the response you receive."

To find out more and how to register planned land art with race organisers, go to visit

The promotion of this year’s OVO Energy Tour of Britain is to benefit from a £10,000 boost.

Newark and Sherwood District Council has allocated the money to the UK’s biggest cycle race, which is returning to the area for a second successive year.

The district council is a partner in staging and promoting the event’s Nottinghamshire section.

Councillors on the policy and finance committee voted in favour of the proposal.

The £10,000 will include £5,000 towards hosting the event and £5,000 towards censuring that exposure of the stage is maximised.

A report to committee said the success of the 2017 event and the exposure it brought to Nottinghamshire, in particular Newark and Sherwood, through live international media coverage, had a positive impact on tourism and generated significant additional spending by visitors.

Mr Paul Peacock said the council could provide a bigger budget and unsuccessfully proposed a £20,000 contribution.

He said: "Last year it was a really good event and a fantastic success.

"Even though the cyclists whiz through, people are really interested in it.

"I feel it is a paltry contribution and propose that we make a budget of £20,000 in total for the event."

Council leader Mr David Lloyd said: "It’s a very welcome thing for the district."

The country’s premier cycling event, which is watched by a television audience of millions, will pass through the district on September 7.

The Nottinghamshire leg, the penultimate stage, will cover 220km, 73 of which are in Newark and Sherwood.

The stage, which begins in West Bridgford and finishes in Mansfield, will pass through Gunthorpe, Lowdham, Southwell, Normanton, Hockerton, Knapton, Caunton, Norwell, Ossington, Moorhouse, Laxton, Egmanton, Budby, Edwinstowe, Bilsthorpe, Kirk-lington, Edingley, Farnsfield and Bilsthorpe.

The stage will start in Rushcliffe and finish in Mansfield.