WITH Le Grand Depart only ten days away, an unusual sight has appeared in Wensleydale, causing a stir among locals, cyclists, tourists, and, of course, the four-legged inhabitants.

Its not crop circles or local hikers, but the appearance of giant white Yorkshire Wensleydale cheeses across the dale.

Kevin Clarkson, local Wensleydale dairy farmer, said: "In celebration of the worlds greatest cycle race coming to the Yorkshire Dales, a number of the farmers had the idea of creating large Yorkshire Wensleydale cheese replicas out of big round bales as a true Yorkshire Welcome for the thousands of visitors expected to line the route.

"We wanted to show off to the world what is special about our area and our milk, which indeed goes into making the famous Yorkshire Wensleydale cheese, which we are all very proud of.

"To start with it was just a bit of fun to get into the spirit of the Grand Depart, and then more and more local farmers, who supply the milk to the Wensleydale Creamery, got on board.

"I think there are more than 20 giant cheeses now gracing the green fields of Wensleydale. The whole thing has caused a bit of a stir with postings online and, not least, with my herd which seems to like them."

David Hartley, managing director of The Wensleydale Creamery, said: "As excitement for the big day is building, we are seeing a visible increase in the number of cyclists visiting Wensleydale, tackling the nearby Buttertubs, a King of the Mountains climb. Lets hope the sight of the giant cheeses inspires a British win."