An enormous piece of art covering a third of a mile at North Weald Airfield has been mown into the landscape to celebrate the passing of the Tour de France.

The piece has taken several weeks to complete and was created ahead of the cycling festival that will visit on July 7.

Designed by Nicola Burrell, the artwork was created with the help of volunteers, including students from Writtle Agricultural College, in Writtle, just outside Chelmsford.

The students assisted in mowing and marking the piece, which shows three racing cyclists on bicycles, at North Weald Airfield.

Unit leader in garden design and Lecturer Ben Wincott, said: "The students throughly enjoyed it, they had to have a lot of faith as nobody had any idea what it would look like until we saw the pictures.

"It is a priviledge for all of the students involved, the final piece is fantastic and exceeded all of our expectations."

The design can be seen from the air during the race next week and is designed to spell out ‘Essex’ in the artists attempt to ‘marry the county and the Tour de France’.

Designer of the artwork Nicola Burrell said: “It has been quite a challenge to mark out and mow as the grass is waist level.

“The experience has been fantastic, the airfield was a wonderful place to do it and it’s all very surreal.”