A YORKSHIRE Dales farmer who caught a naked cyclist answering the call of nature in his field has urged people attempting the Tour de France route to find a proper toilet.

A farmer in Wensleydale spotted the rider stripped out of his Lycra kit and defecating in his silage field.

The cyclist promised to clean up the mess after he was accosted by the unnamed farmer.

The incident was revealed on a Facebook page set up to promote businesses in Leyburn ahead of the Grand Depart next month.

The site administrator said in a post: "A friend and landowner in Wensleydale posted this to their page this morning. Names have been changed to protect the innocent."

The post from the landowner then followed.

It said: "This morning we watched a man on a cycle race come into our field, strip completely naked and use our field as a toilet. Leaving the evidence together with the paper!

"Kids thought funny and can't wait to tell everyone at school tomorrow. My husband didn't find it quite as funny as it is in a field he is about to silage.

"My husband went and spoke to the bloke and apparently he is coming back later to clean if up. We are very excited about the race but can the people using the route not spoil it and please find REAL toilets. Rant over."

The farmer later told the Northern Echo he spotted something strange in the field and his wife fetched binoculars to see what was happening.

"There was a man naked after taking his one-piece Lycra suit off squatting down and doing his business.

"I went down and had a word with him. First of all he denied it but I thought 'you cheeky sod - we've just seen you'.

"He said he was going to come back and clean it up. I took a photo of him - he'd got dressed by then - and told him and I'll pass it to the police and let them sort it out if he doesn't come back.

"I think the chance of him coming back is pretty slim though."

The farmer said the place were the cyclist went to the toilet was the same site that he and his family had planned to stand when the Tour de France cyclists pass through Wensleydale on July 5.

The man said the family would now stand elsewhere. 

The Tour de France Grand Depart will take place in Yorkshire on July 6 and 6.

Up two million spectators are expected to descend on the county to watch the world's biggest annual sporting event.

It is understood that when professional cyclists competing in the Tour de France need to go, they will often relieve themselves while still on their bikes.

On other occasions the peloton - the main pack of cyclists - will agree between themselves to stop by the side of the road somewhere quiet with few spectators.

The cameras filming the race will usually cut away to show the local scenery until the riders are back on their bikes.

To aid cyclists, The Northern Echo has listed some of the public conveniences which are close to the Grand Depart route when it passes through the Yorkshire Dales.

Toilets can be found in Aysgarth Falls, Bainbridge, Hawes, Muker, Gunnerside, Reeth, Grinton, Leyburn, Middleham, Masham and Ripon.