THE 50th anniversary of a popular children's book series is the theme at one of Europe's biggest maze prepares to reopen.

York Maze have teamed up with Mr Men and Little Miss to celebrate the popular children’s literary and TV characters when it launches in July.

Farmer and York Maze creator Tom Pearcy has cut out more than 5 km of pathways in his 15-acre field of more than a million maize plants.

In keeping with tradition, he aims to choose a maze design which is both topical and makes a great aerial image.

Previous themes have marked the 40th anniversary of Star Wars, while in 2019 it celebrated the 25th anniversary of the release of The Lion King.

Covering the size of eight football pitches, the attraction in Elvington planted the maize seeds in April ready for this season.

“We use GPS technology to plot the pathways and cut them out when the maize plants are only a few centimetres tall," said Tom, who was unable to open the Maze last year due to Covid.

"It is nerve-wracking because I can’t tell if we’ve made a mistake and put a path in the wrong place until the maize plants are fully grown.”

Alastair McHarrie, licensing director at Sanrio, said: “The Mr. Men Little Miss 50th anniversary has really struck a chord with the public.

"Parents and grandparents who grew up with the stories are now re-discovering their favourite characters alongside their children and grandchildren.

"We can’t wait until July when the Mr. Men Little Miss 50th Anniversary Maze design will be revealed.”

The Mr. Men and Little Miss franchise is celebrating its 50th anniversary since the first book, Mr. Tickle was published in August 1971.

The maze will open for visitors to explore from July 17 to September 6.

For 2021 to manage the number of visitors on site, all tickets must be booked online.