Farmers create outline of bicycle with sheep to show support for Tour of Britain

(Credit: NFU)
(Credit: NFU)

Nottinghamshire's farmers are showing their support in different ways as the cycle tournament Tour of Britain travels through their county.

The race passes through some of England’s most productive farmland, speeding across the Nottinghamshire countryside and onto towns like Mansfield and Newark.

The event has inspired Coddington farmer Des Alan to create a special stunt to celebrate the tour, with the help of a lot of sheep.

Mr Alan had trained his sheep to form the outline of a bicycle and with the help of another farmer, Chris Wray, the “land art” was filmed from the air.

NFU County Adviser, Andy Guy, helped to lay out the shape of the bicycle in healthy and nutritious sheep nuts and farmer Des trained the sheep, who were “bribed” to stand and eat the feed whilst Chris filmed them from above.

NFU’s #BackBritshFarming campaign banners have also been displayed “front and centre” along the route.

'Industry support'

Andy Guy told the NFU: “We wanted farming to be involved in the Tour of Britain and scratched our heads about what would work. September is an incredibly busy time of year for farmers, but we’ve persuaded some of them to join in and show our industry’s support for the cycle race.

“Des came up with the brilliant idea to lay out the shape of a bicycle in sheep feed. He knew he could train the sheep to follow him – they’re notoriously fond of sheep nuts and will do most things for a nibble!

“Nottinghamshire’s farmers are busy all year round producing great food for the nation, and cyclists know the benefits of a healthy diet.

“They’ll be choosing milk as a re-hydration aid, fruit and vegetables for a healthy digestion and protein-full meat and pulses for muscle growth. So it’s natural and right that our farming industry supports the cyclists racing past Nottinghamshire’s farms and fields.”

In other news, the public have been urged to get behind Back British Farming Day as an opportunity to demonstrate to the public the importance of farming.

Back British Farming Day will take place on 13 September, and is seen as a chance for the industry to demonstrate to MPs and the wider general public the importance of British farming.