Boy, 16, arrested after world-renowned Sycamore Gap Tree cut down released on bail

29 September 2023, 10:57

Boy bailed over felling of Sycamore Gap Tree
Boy bailed over felling of Sycamore Gap Tree. Picture: Alamy

By StephenRigley

A teenage boy arrested in connection with the felling of the world-famous Sycamore Gap tree has been released on bail, police have said

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The 16-year-old was arrested on Thursday afternoon on suspicion of criminal damage after the "iconic" tree next to Hadrian's Wall was cut down overnight.

Northumbria Police said they were treating it as an act of vandalism.

Sycamore Gap Tree
Sycamore Gap Tree. Picture: Alamy

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On Friday morning a force spokesperson said: "A 16-year-old male was arrested in connection with the incident. He has since been released on police bail, pending further enquiries."

The Sycamore Gap Tree, in Northumberland, was made famous in a key scene in Kevin Costner's 1991 film Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves and is one of the most photographed trees in the country.

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

The sycamore, which stood in a dramatic dip in Hadrian's Wall and is believed to be around 300 years old, 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.

Walker Alison Hawkins, who was one of the first people to see the tree had been felled on Thursday morning, told the PA news agency: "It was a proper shock. It's basically the iconic picture that everyone wants to see."

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