Ex-lumberjack arrested over Sycamore Gap tree felling told he will face no further action by police

13 December 2023, 19:27

A man arrested over the felling of the Sycamore Gap will face no further action
A man arrested over the felling of the Sycamore Gap will face no further action. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

A former lumberjack who was arrested over the felling of the Sycamore Gap tree has been cleared by police.

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Walter Renwick, 69, had branded the claims against him as "ridiculous" when he was detained in the aftermath of the landmark's chopping down.

But he has now been cleared by Northumbria Police.

The force announced that a "man in his 60s previously arrested on suspicion of criminal damage will now face no further action by police".

Two men aged in their 30s remain on bail as the investigation into the incident goes on.

Detective Chief Inspector Rebecca Fenney-Menzies said: "Sycamore Gap is an iconic part of our region's landscape, and we know just how much outrage this incident has caused.

Read more: ‘New future’ on the cards for Sycamore Gap Tree as specialists reveal ‘positive signs of life’ after felling

The Sycamore Gap tree was felled
The Sycamore Gap tree was felled. Picture: Alamy

"As always, we continue to welcome any new information from members of the public that could help us progress the investigation."

A 16-year-old boy who was arrested over the cut down was told he would face no further action in November.

The cutting of the iconic tree, which was on Hadrian's Wall in Northumberland, and appeared in 1991's Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, devastated locals.

But it is hoped it could yet have descendants.

Cuttings and salvaged seeds from the tree are showing positive signs of new growth.

Rare plant specialists have been working to propagate material taken from the iconic Sycamore Gap tree after it was felled in September.

The tree's felling caused outrage
The tree's felling caused outrage. Picture: Alamy

While plants do not grow from seeds and cuttings around this time of year, the National Trust has said it has seen positive signs in the cuttings.

"After discovering the felled tree, our teams were quickly on the scene to collect material that would enable us to propagate from the tree," Andy Jasper, director of gardens and Parklands at the National Trust, said.

"This work is taking place in our specialist rare plant propagation nursery and although this wasn't really the right time of year to do this work, we are encouraged by positive signs of life, and are hopeful that over 30% of the mature seeds and half of the cuttings will be viable, which means we can hopefully grow new descendants from the tree in the future."

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