Organisers of the OVO Energy Tour of Britain, the UK’s most prestigious cycle race, have launched a competition to look for the best and most eye-catching land art alongside the route of this year’s 1,140-kilometre event.

The tradition of creating land art masterpieces along the route has long been the practice at the OVO Energy Tour of Britain, as well as other cycle races around the world, but this will be the first time that The Tour has held a competition to find the best piece of land art.

Community groups, schools, businesses and land owners across Britain will be encouraged to take part in the competition during the OVO Energy Tour of Britain. The 2018 edition takes place from Sunday 2 to Sunday 9 September, and visits South Wales, the West Country, Warwickshire, Cumbria and Nottinghamshire before the final stage in Central London.

“We are delighted to be adding this land art competition to the ways that communities across the country can get involved in the race this September,” said OVO Energy Tour of Britain Race Director Mick Bennett.

 “Last year’s Nottinghamshire stage in particular saw several fantastic examples of land art created by community groups, and this has inspired us to encourage people across the route this year to show their support and get creative.  Over the coming weeks we will see countless examples of land art during the Tour de France, which will inspire people’s creativity.”

A panel comprising Mick Bennett, cycling experts and staff from race organisers SweetSpot will decide the top three pieces of art at the end of this year’s event.

The winner will receive a trophy and commemorative Tour of Britain prizes, presented in person by Mick Bennett, while the runner-up and third-place finisher will also take home trophies for their efforts.

Commenting on the announcement, Des Allen the Nottinghamshire farmer whose sheep-based land art went viral on social media during the 2017 OVO Energy Tour of Britain, added: “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.”

Councillor Kay Cutts, Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council said: “It’s great testament to the success of last year’s race that national organisers have chosen our county to launch this exciting competition. Nottinghamshire people came out in their thousands to line the route, which added a tremendous sparkle to the event.

“At 223 kilometres, we are hosting the longest stage this time – so our county has a fantastic opportunity to get involved and hopefully a winner will be found here in Nottinghamshire.

“Last year we had so many examples of magical land art moments provided by local schools, sailing clubs and, of course, the much-talked about sheep creation by Nottinghamshire farmer Des Allen.”

To find out more and how to register your planned land art with race organisers, visit our Land Art competition mini site, which also lists useful tips and advice to aid your creativity.