A teenage was arrested over the chopping down of a beloved 300-year-old tree along Hadrian’s Wall

The ‘Sycamore Gap’ tree lying on the ground next to Hadrian’s Wall in an aerial photo shared on September 28, 2023, in Northumberland National Park, England.

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Police said they arrested a 16-year-old in connection to the felling of a 300-year-old tree in England.
The tree, which featured in “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves,” was located along Hadrian’s Wall.
Local authorities said they believe the world-renowned Sycamore Gap Tree was deliberately felled.

A 16-year-old boy was arrested on Thursday in northern England on suspicion of cutting down a famous tree that has been standing next to the historic Roman Hadrian’s Wall for almost 300 years, according to local police.

“This afternoon, we’ve arrested a 16-year-old male in connection with the incident. He remains in police custody at this time and is assisting officers with their enquiries,” Northumbria police said.

The tree was felled overnight on Thursday in Northumberland National Park, according to a statement from the local police, in what it called a “deliberate act of vandalism”.

The ‘Sycamore Gap’ tree lying on the ground, along Hadrian’s Wall and behind a police cordon tape, in England’s Northumberland National Park, in a photo shared on September 28, 2023.

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In a statement on Thursday, the Northumberland National Park Authority joined the police in saying it had reason to believe the tree was “deliberately felled,” though it did not give further details.

Photographs shared by local police show the landmark tree was cut down close to its base, with the felled tree partially lying on Hadrian’s Wall, which was constructed about 1,900 years ago.

—Northumbria Police (@northumbriapol) September 28, 2023


The tree, known as the Sycamore Gap Tree, rose to global prominence when it appeared in Kevin Costner’s 1991 blockbuster movie “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves”.

The National Trust heritage charity, which co-manages the site, said it was “shocked” and “desperately saddened” by the tree’s removal.

The tree won the Woodland Trust‘s annual Tree of the Year competition in 2016, and the trust said in a post on social media platform X that is a “truly irreplaceable loss.”

The ‘Sycamore Gap’ tree lying on the ground, along Hadrian’s Wall, in northeast England in an aerial photo shared on September 28, 2023.

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John Parker, chief executive officer at The Arboricultural Association, told Sky News that pulling down such an old tree will likely kill it, with no chances of reestablishing itself.

The superintendent of the local police said on Thursday that they are appealing to the public for any information, according to The Guardian.

“Given our investigation remains at a very early stage, we are keeping an open mind,” he said, per the outlet.

The National Park advised visitors to avoid the area while it was being made safe and the investigation is underway.

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