I found out about the shoes................
Armstrong Park Shoe Tree(s)
The Newcastle shoe tree has been around for a few years now and I guess it must have been the amount of shoes on the original tree that made the local council cut down a few of the most decorated branches leaving it a shadow of it's former self. In the last couple of years people have been adding shoes to the other trees along that particular pathway making it more of a shoe tree alley these days.
A nearby sign about the shoe tree says The shoe tree is an old Sycamore, which reaches nearly 40 metres high. There are lots of different stories about how the shoe tree came about, but it is thought some time ago this fine, but ordinary tree became the shoe tree when young people celebrated the completion of their exams by throwing their shoes high into the branches. This has continued and there are now shoes of all different types, showing the fashion trends of the last 20 years. The shoe tree was made famous by the novel "The Taxi Driver's Daughter" by Julia Darling.
Sometimes the tree has too many shoes and the numbers have to be controlled. This is because they can affect the health of the tree and too many can be unsafe. There is therefore an annual harvest of shoes so we can protect this lovely tree.
I've never heard of it myself