Giant RNLI yellow welly planned for Tour de Yorkshire land art contest

Lifeboats News Release

A huge RNLI yellow welly created by members of the charity’s Knaresborough Fundraising Guild will grace the Tour de Yorkshire route at Thorp Arch.

The RNLI is the Tour de Yorkshire’s charity partner this year and supporters across the region are getting involved in the event, which takes place at the same time as the charity’s national fundraising campaign, Mayday.

Yellow wellies are vital pieces of RNLI kit, keeping crew members dry and safe on rescues. The yellow welly has also been adopted as the symbol of Mayday, with yellow welly pin badges sold to help raise funds for the charity.

The idea for the Tour de Yorkshire yellow welly creation came from Knaresborough RNLI guild member Paula Letts, who asked local farmer Tom Kilby to allow one of his fields along the route to be used for a piece of RNLI-inspired temporary land art.

Paula said: ‘It seemed like a brilliant opportunity to illustrate the vital work of RNLI crews. The field at Thorp Arch is a perfect location, at the junction of Dowkell Lane and Wood Lane, which is part of the route on the first stage. The field slopes down towards the road so people won’t be able to miss it. We’re very grateful to Tom for allowing us to use his land.

‘All the local RNLI supporters are very excited that we have been chosen as the Tour de Yorkshire’s charity partner, and we’ll be out in force on the route to collect and wave our RNLI flags on the day – once we’ve got the giant welly in place at Thorp Arch!’

The yellow welly will be made from painted sheets of canvas, and will be taken away at the end of the day.

The Tour de Yorkshire begins on Friday 29 April in Beverley and ends on Sunday 1 May in Scarborough. Thorp Arch is part of Stage 1, and lies between Tadcaster and Wetherby.

Welcome to Yorkshire, the Tour organiser, is encouraging local businesses, landowners and groups to create land art as part of its Lining the Route competition. Images of the dramatic creations will be beamed to TV audiences around the world as the riders wind their way through the county’s spectacular scenery. The public will be able to vote for their favourite, with the winner taking home the Lining the Route land art trophy. 

Amy Casbolt, RNLI Community Fundraising Manager, said: ‘The Tour de Yorkshire is getting ever closer and we have been amazed by the excitement and enthusiasm of our supporters, who are really keen to get involved across the three days. I can’t wait to see the giant RNLI yellow welly and we’d love it if other people could get creative and produce more RNLI-inspired land art along other sections of the route.’

All funds raised for Mayday through the Tour de Yorkshire partnership will be used to support the RNLI’s lifesaving service in Yorkshire.

For more information about volunteering for the RNLI during the Tour de Yorkshire, email or call 0300 300 9908.

For more information on the Lining the Route competition visit   

1. An RNLI yellow welly. Credit Nigel Millard.

2. A giant RNLI Mayday yellow welly. Credit Rob McDougall.

3. Land art from the Tour de France. Credit Welcome to Yorkshire.

Notes to editors
Tour de Yorkshire is a Welcome to Yorkshire (WTY) / Amaury Sport Organisation (A.S.O.) race in association with British Cycling which holds a 2.1 European Tour UCI Classification.

The Tour de Yorkshire is an annual international race with a new route through Yorkshire each year. It forms part of the legacy of the historic Yorkshire Grand Départ of the Tour de France 2014, along with the Yorkshire Bank Bike Libraries which aim to offer every child in Yorkshire access to a bike.

Media contacts
For more information please contact Alison Levett, RNLI Public Relations Manager, North, on 07786 668912 or at Or Clare Hopps, RNLI Public Relations Officer, North, on 07824 518641 or at  

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or or by email.