A Yorkshire sheep farmer has marked the start of the Tour de France by dyeing his sheep in the colours of winners’ jerseys.

Farmer Keith Chapman, himself a keen cyclist, painted his flock in different colours using dye he would normally use at tupping time.

The sheep, based at Daleside Nurseries, near Harrogate, have created a mini-media frenzy and pictures have been shared hundreds of times on social media sites.

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Mr Chapman has also grown more than 2,500 French marigolds in the shape of a giant yellow jersey.

Both the sheep and the flowers, which are situated along the route, created lots of attention when the Tour made its way through Yorkshire for the first time over the weekend.

Meanwhile, Writtle College, Writtle, Chelmsford, Essex, celebrated the tour by creating a giant landscape of more than 300 bales of haylage in a field on its 220ha estate.

The aim is for the artwork to be viewed from helicopters following the Tour de France as it goes past Writtle today (Monday) as the tussle for the yellow jersey switches from the hilly Yorkshire Dales to the Cambridgeshire Fens for stage three, which stretches from Cambridge to London.

Tour de France sheep
This flock of sheep – grazing along the Leeds to Harrogate stage of the race – captured the spirit of the Tour de France with their yellow fleeces.

Tour de France sheep
Farmer Keith Chapman, Killinghall, North Yorkshire, shows off one of his sheep painted with polka dot to represent the best climber title in the Tour de France.

Sheep
These sheep in Killinghall, North Yorkshire, have been dyed to represent titles in the Tour de France, yellow for overall leader, polka dot for best climber and green for best sprinter.

Tour de France sheep
This pair of sheep in Killinghall, North Yorkshire, have been dyed to represent the best climber title in the Tour de France.

Writtle College
Writtle College, Essex, created this homage to the Tour de France out of hay bales.