A FISH on a bicycle is the latest part of land art to show off the Bradford district when coverage of UCI Road World Cycling Championships is beamed round the world today.

The artwork was put together in Baildon by the side of the route for the women’s elite race which starts in City Park.

It joins an image in Lister Park of a cyclist riding through ribbons in the UCI colours across a river and a giant Baildon sign created by artist Tim Curtis and schoolchildren in the village.

The women’s elite race will start from City Park at 11.40am with many attractions planned to entertain the crowds of cycling fans both there and in Lister Park as the racers head out to Shipley, Otley and the Dales.

The 50m x 40m Fish on a Bicycle design was put together by the Aire Rivers Trust and Bradford Council’s drainage and recycling teams with the artists ‘Sand in Your Eye’ and volunteers thanks to funding from the Council’s UCI budget.

It has been painted on Council land off Coach Road on the River Aire and volunteers laid out recyclable waste on the image yesterday.

The recycling team provided the waste during National Recycling Week to highlight the kind of items that can be recycled, rather than discarded or dumped, but which are all too often found in our local rivers. It says not only do items discarded on or in rivers create a flood risk, but they cause pollution and blight areas.

Cllr Alex Ross-Shaw, Executive Member for Regeneration, Planning and Transport said: “Whilst the artwork has been commissioned to celebrate the cycling event, it has been designed and produced to raise awareness of the invaluable efforts local communities have put in to help clean up the river.

“Bradford district has a growing number of voluntary groups who undertake river stewardship works such as river clean ups, litter picks and invasive species identification as well as regularly reporting any pollution incidents to the Environment Agency. The Council’s Flood Programme Board has provided funding to support this work through the Aire Rivers Trust.”

The Fish on a Bicycle design also highlights the Developing the Natural Aire (DNAire) project: a project to revitalise one of Yorkshire’s longest rivers by reconnecting the ecology of the river through building fish passes on the last four high weirs below Gargrave, including Saltaire; allowing salmon to return to the river for the first time since the Industrial Revolution at the same time re-connecting communities to the River Aire.

These projects link into Bradford Council’s partner role in the European Union North Sea Region Blue Green Infrastructure and Social Innovation (BEGIN) project which champions’ stakeholder and community involvement with climate adaptation and sustainability.

Cllr Sarah Ferriby, Executive Member for Healthy People and Places said: “Projects like this are part of the excitement in the build up to Bradford hosting a worldwide event and enable us to connect community, sport, culture and the environment whilst raising awareness.”

Geoff Roberts, of the Aire Rivers Trust, said: “We are delighted to be part of this innovative and eye-catching work, which highlights the need to keep our rivers clean. When salmon do return to our river, the last thing they want to see is a discarded bicycle or supermarket trolley and we can all help by recycling where possible and putting our waste in bins not the river!”