‘Land art will help nation to see our town’

Michael Hirst's Tour de Yorkshire land art design.
Michael Hirst's Tour de Yorkshire land art design.

A campaign to raise £1,300 to create land art showcasing Pontefract during the Tour de Yorkshire has been launched.

Michael Hirst, 34, has drawn up a design, inspired by the town’s heritage, which he hopes will put Pontefract on the map when the cycling race passes through next month.

speedy: Cyclists make their way through South Elmsall.

speedy: Cyclists make their way through South Elmsall.

The art will feature a giant lock and key, made out of recycled carpet and materials, connected together to form the shape of a bike. It has taken inspiration from Pontefract Castle, which was once hailed the Key to the North.

Mr Hirst, who lives in the Carleton park area of Pontefract, has launched a Go Fund Me Page to raise cash to help make his design a reality.

On the page, he said: “Once known as the Key to the North, Pontefract is now a thriving market town with many stories to tell. From horse racing and secret ballots to King Richard II and liquorice roots, there’s plenty to discover.

“This piece of land art is a way of getting the nation to see our town and the Key to the North design will leave people wondering why our town had such a title. I am very proud of my town and I hope you are too and will help support this initiative.”

Self-employed photographer, designer and events organiser Mr Hirst has gained the support of the Pontefract Civic Society.

He will enter his design into the Tour de Yorkshire land art competition, in the hope it will be beamed to a global audience of millions when the race’s live television helicopters sweep across the county.

Race organisers Welcome to Yorkshire will shortlist the 12 best land art pieces and the public will then be able to vote for a winner. “

It’s going to be Pontefract’s emblem for the race, ” Mr Hirst said.

The county’s most celebrated cycling race, which runs from May 3 to 6, will take in South Elmsall, Ackworth, Pontefract and Castleford on a Yorkshire heritage-inspired section of the route. See page 20 for more.