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Robin Hood film's sycamore shortlisted for 'tree of the year'

A sycamore which starred in Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves, the original Bramley apple and a tree which has swallowed a bicycle are among those shortlisted for "tree of the year".

Shortlists featuring 28 of the UK's finest trees have been unveiled by the Woodland Trust, from almost 200 nominations, as it seeks to find a tree of the year for England, Wales, Scotland and North Ireland.

A winner for each country will be selected by a public vote and they will go on to compete in the European tree of the year contest.

Shortlisted trees in England include a mulberry bush at a prison in Yorkshire which is thought to have been the origin of the nursery rhyme Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush, played by female prisoners with their children.

England's nominated trees also include rare elms, the famous tree on Hadrian's Wall which featured in Kevin Costner's 1991 film Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves and the dying original Bramley apple tree from which all other Bramley trees come.

Scotland's shortlist includes the last remaining tree from the ancient Birnham oakwood, whose advance, it is foretold, will vanquish Macbeth in Shakespeare's play, and a sycamore which has "eaten" various objects including a bicycle after growing through the scrap of a blacksmith's workshop.

Trees making the shortlist in Wales include an 800-year-old oak which has witnessed the rise and fall of Dinefwr Castle, Carmarthenshire, and the Brimmon Oak, which will see a bypass diverted to avoid it thanks to campaigners.

In Northern Ireland, nominated trees include one of the country's oldest oaks which has witnessed the growth of Belfast, and two beeches wound together in the 18th century by John Wesley to symbolise the connection between the Anglican Church and Methodism

The winning tree in each country will benefit from a "Tree LC" grant of £1,000, and any tree with more than 1,000 votes will get £500, which can be used to arrange a health check, provide education materials or hold a celebratory event.

Beccy Speight, Woodland Trust chief executive, said: "These trees have stood for hundreds, if not thousands, of years and each will have a special place in peoples' lives.

"By celebrating them and reminding people of their value we hope to support and influence those who can ensure they continue to thrive for future generations."

The People's Postcode Lottery is backing the competition.

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