Man in his 60s arrested after felling of 300-year-old world-famous Sycamore Gap Tree

29 September 2023, 20:15 | Updated: 29 September 2023, 20:37

A second person has been arrested after the felling of the tree.
A second person has been arrested after the felling of the tree. Picture: Alamy/Getty

By Jenny Medlicott

A man in his 60s has been arrested by officers investigating the felling of the world-famous Sycamore Gap tree in Northumberland, Northumbria Police said.

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The man, in his 60s, was arrested on Friday evening in connection with the felling of the tree and remains in police custody.

It comes after a 16-year-old boy was arrested on Thursday after the felling of the landmark tree beside Hadrian's Wall, Northumberland.

"The senseless destruction of what is undoubtedly a world-renowned landmark - and a local treasure - has quite rightly resulted in an outpour of shock, horror and anger throughout the North East and further afield," Detective Chief Inspector Rebecca Fenney-Menzies at Northumbria Police said.

"I hope this second arrest demonstrates just how seriously we're taking this situation, and our ongoing commitment to find those responsible and bring them to justice.

"Although another arrest has been made, this investigation is still in the early stages, and we would continue to encourage any members of the public with information which may assist to get in touch.

"If you've seen or heard anything suspicious that may be of interest to us - I'd implore you to contact us.

"I'd also like to remind the public that this remains a live investigation so, for that reason, please avoid any speculation both in the community and on social media.

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

Read more: Who cut down the Sycamore Gap Tree? Forensic examiners search scene as theories mount

Read more: Glimmer of hope for Sycamore Gap stump as shoots could regrow from 'deliberately' felled tree

A second person has been arrested in connection with the felling of the landmark tree.
A second person has been arrested in connection with the felling of the landmark tree. Picture: Alamy

On Thursday morning the national park authority confirmed the tree had been felled.

The authority said in a statement: "(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."

The felling of the tree - which featured in 1991 film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves - has sparked outrage, with authorities calling it a 'deliberate act of vandalism'.

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.