Schoolchildren inspire Tour of Britain land art with a coastal flavour

This story was published 24 August 2022

Seeing international cyclists competing over a tough yet stunning route will only be part of the attraction when stage four of the Tour of Britain comes to North Yorkshire on Wednesday, 7 September.

Examples of the designs by pupils of Fylingdales and Hawsker schools, which form the basis for Tour of Britain land art to be created at the schools.

In addition, there will be examples of the now traditional land art to spot if you are on the route or watching on television.

Pupils at both Fylingdales Church of England VC Primary School in Fylingthorpe and Hawsker-cum-Stainsacre Church of England VC Primary School used their artistic talents at the end of last term to create designs that celebrate not only the cycle race, but also their locality.

These designs provided inspiration to land art creator Fields of Vision, which has incorporated the children’s ideas into final designs. These will be outlined on the schools’ playing fields on Sunday, 4 September, using satellite technology. Children and their families will then paint the finished art.

Both works will be entries in the land art competition being run by Tour of Britain organiser SweetSpot.

Helen Thompson, executive headteacher of the Heritage Coast Federation, which includes both schools, said: “The children gave their imaginations free rein and drew some wonderfully inventive designs.

“At Hawsker, they were really keen to see either Dracula or Captain Cook on a bike with the Whale bones or Whitby Abbey included in the design. At Fylingdales, seagulls were a recurring feature in the children’s design ideas, along with the lifebelt, which is in the school logo. 

“I’m really looking forward to the school communities coming together on 4 September to make these ideas a reality and hope spectators will enjoy seeing them in the coverage of the race.”

The race route passes both schools, so pupils will go out to watch the cyclists on the day.

Andrew Wood, partner in Fields of Vision with David Burlison, has been creating land art since the Tour de France Grand Départ in Yorkshire in 2014. Before the children drew their designs, he held an assembly with them over video to offer tips – chiefly, keep designs bold, colourful and simple.

“My starting point is to create something that will make people say ‘wow’ and will put a smile on their faces,” he said.

Our executive member for culture, leisure and sport, Cllr Simon Myers, said: “Hosting events like the Tour of Britain is all about giving communities a chance to come together. It’s great to see the whole schools involved in a creative endeavour that sounds like a huge amount of fun and will also bring extra pleasure to people watching the race.”

North York Moors National Park Authority will also create a piece on land art during the weekend before the race on the slopes above Danby Lodge National Park Centre. The art will link cycling with nature in a quirky way.

Tom Hind, chief executive of the North York Moors National Park Authority, said: “We are delighted that the Tour of Britain is coming to the North York Moors during our 70th anniversary year.

“Cycling is a fantastic way to experience the area and a great boost to both physical and mental wellbeing. In the National Park’s newly-published management plan, alongside our commitments to climate and nature, we also endeavour to position the North York Moors as the premier family cycling destination in the north of England. Our land art will therefore be a celebration of our platinum anniversary, our very special landscape and wildlife and of the joy that can be found when seeing it all from two wheels.”

Stage four of the Tour of Britain on 7 September will begin in Redcar then pass through Whitby before heading into the North York Moors National Park. The final 30 kilometres will feature the demanding climbs of Carlton Bank and Newgate Bank – both two kilometres long – before descending to the finish at Duncombe Park. 

Details of the estimated times of the racers’ arrival at points along the route have been published to help people to decide when and where they can watch the race and to plan their travel on the day.

We will implement rolling road closures, which means closures are likely to last no longer than 30 to 45 minutes to minimise disruption. Full details of race timings and estimated road closures are on our Tour of Britain page.

The 2022 Tour of Britain will start in Aberdeen on Sunday, 4 September, and finish on the Isle of Wight on Sunday, 11 September. 

ITV4 will broadcast live flag-to-flag coverage of every stage and a nightly highlights show, allowing fans in the UK to watch wherever they are. The race will also be shown in more than 150 countries worldwide, thanks to the event's partnerships with Eurosport and the Global Cycling Network.