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'It was a photographer's dream': Remembering the Sycamore Gap tree

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Photographer Steven Lomas has a picture that has been in his room for a long time. It shows a solitary tree standing between two hills in northeast England.

STEVEN LOMAS: It was a photographer's paradise. It was a photographer's dream location.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

It's the Sycamore Gap tree, estimated to have lived for 200 years and famous for appearing in films like "Robin Hood."

LOMAS: The first time I went there - it's hard to describe because it is just so magical, and the terrain is just special. The tree's special. And it's beautiful to look at. No matter what the weather, it just offers something different.

CHANG: Well, that iconic tree is now gone. Earlier this week, police arrested a 16-year-old suspected of cutting it down. And all week people have been paying tribute to that tree.

LOMAS: Some people have said, it's just a tree. What's the big deal? Nobody's died. True, but it's an iconic - it was an iconic part of our particular corner of the world.

SHAPIRO: The tree sat at a dip in Hadrian's Wall, which marked the northernmost boundary of the Roman Empire. Lomas says he's visited the tree about 20 times and cherishes the memories.

LOMAS: The last time that I visited was in March - just me and my dad with a beautiful, fresh blanket of snow across the landscape. And the sun was just starting to set, and I got some stunning photographs. And I feel really sad now that, although the landscape's still there, the tree isn't.

CHANG: The National Trust, a conservation group in the U.K., told NPR that it is possible for the tree to regrow, but it's too early to tell for sure.

(SOUNDBITE OF KENDRICK LAMAR SONG, "MONEY TREES (FEAT. JAY ROCK)") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Alejandra Marquez Janse is a producer for NPR's evening news program All Things Considered. She was part of a team that traveled to Uvalde, Texas, months after the mass shooting at Robb Elementary to cover its impact on the community. She also helped script and produce NPR's first bilingual special coverage of the State of the Union – broadcast in Spanish and English.
Manuela López Restrepo
Manuela López Restrepo is a producer and writer at All Things Considered. She's been at NPR since graduating from The University of Maryland, and has worked at shows like Morning Edition and It's Been A Minute. She lives in Brooklyn with her cat Martin.
Tinbete Ermyas