One of the UK’s most famous trees, located at Sycamore Gap alongside Hadrian’s Wall, has fallen victim to a deliberate act of vandalism. The tree achieved widespread recognition after its appearance in the 1991 film “Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves,” starring Kevin Costner. Its significance goes beyond cinematic fame, as it has been a cherished spot for many, including a place of proposal for one couple. Regrettably, the tranquility of this iconic location has been disrupted by the arrest of a 16-year-old suspect in connection with the tree’s felling.
Superintendent Kevin Waring of Northumbria Police expressed, “This is a world-renowned landmark, and the events of today have caused significant shock, sadness, and anger throughout the local community and beyond.” Authorities are investigating the incident in collaboration with relevant agencies and partners.
In response to the incident, the public has been urged to avoid visiting the site near Crag Lough “while we work with our partners to identify what has happened and to make the site safe.” The National Trust, which manages the land, expressed deep shock and sorrow over the loss of the tree. It’s worth noting that this beloved tree received the title of English Tree of the Year in 2016 from the Woodland Trust.
Brendon Hayward, who proposed to his now-wife Sinead beneath the tree in January 2019, expressed his profound disappointment, saying, “The tree was precious to me because I’d hoped we could revisit it as a family as our children got older. I chose the place to propose because the tree would grow with time and hopefully be there in 50 or 100 years. I’m gutted.”
The incident has stirred emotions on social media, with many expressing sadness and outrage, using words like “horrific” and “sickening” to describe the act.
Sycamore Gap, nestled along Hadrian’s Wall with the Roman Milecastle 39 to its left, was under the care of both Northumberland National Park and the National Trust. Photographer Steven Lomas, expressing his sorrow on social media, said, “I can’t even begin to describe how sad I am that the most beautiful and famous tree in England, Sycamore Gap, has either been cut down or blew down. I am pretty devastated that the place I love most in Northumberland is essentially no more.”
Kim McGuinness, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria, lamented the loss, stating, “I’m devastated that the famous Sycamore is gone. That tree was ours. An iconic North East landmark.”
The tree’s disappearance leaves a void in the landscape that has been cherished for nearly two centuries, with Andrew Poad, the Trust’s General Manager for Hadrian’s Wall and Tyne Valley, acknowledging its significance: “The tree has been an important and iconic feature in the landscape for nearly 200 years and means a lot to the local community and to anyone who has visited the site.”
Authorities have appealed for information from the public regarding the incident, hoping to bring those responsible to justice.
See the police statement issued earlier today – Police issue Statement regarding the Sycamore Gap Tree being destroyed (northeastupdates.com)
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