The Bicycle Tree


This century-old sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus) has almost swallowed up what was once an anchor, and a bicycle.

It occupies a spot close to the old smiddy (smithy), and local folklore has it that the village blacksmith was in the habit of propping up or hanging various articles, which were then forgotten about and gradually absorbed by the ‘ironivorous’ tree.

There is a story about a villager conscripted to the Great War who left his bicycle over a branch.  Perhaps he never returned, or perhaps on his return he found that the tree had claimed the bicycle as its own.  Today all that remains sticking out of the trunk is the handlebars: an unusual testimony to nature’s efforts overcoming Man’s.

Its metal diet seems to have done the tree no harm, and it has certainly outlived the blacksmith, who is buried close by in the little graveyard up the lane.  The eponymous local newspaper, The Bicycle Tree, provides another lasting reminder of this strange, metal-devouring sycamore.