Iconic Sycamore Gap Tree Faces Deliberate Felling, Teen Arrested

In a heart-wrenching incident, one of the UK’s most iconic trees, the Sycamore Gap tree, featured prominently in the 1991 Kevin Costner film “Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves,” was deliberately felled. This cherished tree, which holds a special place in the hearts of many, became famous after its appearance in the film, with one man even choosing it as the site for his marriage proposal, envisioning revisiting it with his family in the years to come.

As reported on earlier about Iconic Sycamore Gap Tree Felled Overnight in Appalling Act of Vandalism but now Northumbria Police has arrested a 16-year-old boy in connection with this shocking act of vandalism. The teenager is currently in police custody, assisting officers with their ongoing investigations.

Superintendent Kevin Waring of Northumbria Police expressed the widespread shock, sadness, and anger over the incident. He stated, “This is a world-renowned landmark, and the events of today have caused significant shock, sadness, and anger throughout the local community and beyond. 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.”

The Northumberland National Park authority confirmed the tragic loss of the famous tree at Sycamore Gap, near the village of Once Brewed and close to Hadrian’s Wall. They are working diligently with relevant agencies and partners to assess the extent of the damage and preserve this iconic North East landmark.

The National Trust, which owns the land, expressed its shock and sadness at the loss of the tree, voted English Tree of the Year in 2016 by the Woodland Trust’s awards. Andrew Poad, the trust’s general manager for Hadrian’s Wall and Tyne Valley, emphasized the tree’s significance to the local community and all who had visited the site.

Despite efforts to save it, some experts believe it’s unlikely the tree can be revived. John Parker, CEO at The Arboricultural Association, explained that the tree’s age and the extent of the cut would probably prevent its recovery. While new shoots may emerge at the base, the tree will never regain its former glory.

North of Tyne mayor, Jamie Driscoll, noted that the National Trust would decide the tree’s fate as landowners. He mentioned the possibility of creating a monument or attempting to replant a cutting or graft from the tree.

Brendon Hayward, who proposed to his wife Sinead beneath the tree, expressed his deep disappointment. He had hoped to return to the tree with his growing family in the years to come, making this act of vandalism especially painful.

The incident has sparked an outpouring of sadness and anger on social media, with many condemning it as “horrific” or “sickening.” Photographer Steven Lomas, who frequented the area, expressed his devastation at the loss of the beloved tree.

Photo Credit: Bob Smith Photography

The Sycamore Gap tree held a special place in the landscape, nestled in a dip in Hadrian’s Wall near Roman Milecastle 39. It was cared for by both Northumberland National Park and the National Trust.

Police and Crime Commissioner for the Northumbria region, Kim McGuinness, summed up the sentiment, saying, “I’m devastated that the famous Sycamore is gone. That tree was ours. An iconic North East landmark.” Anyone with information related to this incident has been urged to contact the police.

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