Boy, 16, arrested after 300-year-old world-famous Sycamore Gap Tree along Hadrian's Wall felled during the night

28 September 2023, 15:52 | Updated: 28 September 2023, 16:56

The Sycamore Gap Tree was felled overnight
The Sycamore Gap Tree was felled overnight. Picture: Alamy/Getty
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

A 16-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with the felling of the Sycamore Gap Tree, Northumbria Police said.

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The landmark Sycamore Gap Tree, beside Hardrian's Wall, Northumberland, was felled overnight.

National Park officials believe the tree was "deliberately felled".

A teenager has been arrested on suspicion of criminal damage, the police force has said.

Super intendant Kevin Waring said the felling has "caused significant shock, sadness and anger throughout the local community and beyond".

The Sycamore Gap Tree in Northumberland
The Sycamore Gap Tree in Northumberland. Picture: Getty

The famous tree was made famous by actor Kevin Costner when it appeared in his 1991 film Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves.

On Thursday morning the national park authority said: "(We) can confirm that sadly, the famous tree at Sycamore Gap has come down over night. We have reason to believe it has been deliberately felled.

"We are working with the relevant agencies and partners with an interest in this iconic North East landmark and will issue more details once they are known."

Read More: Concerned resident sets up £10,000 GoFundMe for 'full size bronze replica' after vandals cut down Sycamore Gap tree

Read More: Iconic Sycamore Gap tree from Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves felled 'deliberately' by chainsaw

The sycamore, which stood in a dramatic dip in Hadrian's Wall which could be seen from the nearby road, was looked after by both Northumberland National Park Authority and the National Trust.

The National Trust said it was "shocked and saddened" to confirm that the "iconic" tree had been cut down overnight after pictures emerged on Thursday morning of it lying on its side near the ancient Roman wall, which is a Unesco World Heritage site.

The news was met with dismay and outrage by walkers' groups on social media.

A 16-year-old boy has been arrested
A 16-year-old boy has been arrested. Picture: Getty

Superintendent Kevin Waring, of Northumbria Police, said: "This is a world-renowned landmark and the events of today have caused significant shock, sadness and anger throughout the local community and beyond.

"An investigation was immediately launched following this vandalism, and this afternoon we have arrested one suspect in connection with our enquiries.

"Given our investigation remains at a very early stage, we are keeping an open mind.

"I am appealing to the public for information to assist us - if you have seen or heard anything suspicious that may be of interest to us, please let us know.

"Any information - no matter how small or insignificant you think it may be - could prove absolutely crucial to our enquiries."

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