A 16-year-old suspect has been detained by UK police in connection with the felling of the iconic Sycamore Gap tree in England’s Northumberland National Park. The tree, which has stood for around 300 years, is known as ‘Robin Hood’s tree’ due to its appearance in the 1991 film starring Kevin Costner. The incident has caused significant shock and sadness in the local community and beyond.
Northumbria Police announced the arrest in a post on social media on Thursday afternoon. The suspect is currently in custody and is assisting officers with their enquiries. A criminal damage case has been opened and the investigation is still in its early stages, with the authorities keeping an open mind.
Superintendent Kevin Waring has appealed to the public for any information regarding the destruction of the world-renowned landmark. The authorities are determined to find out what motivated this act of vandalism.
Upon arriving at the scene on Thursday morning, officers and park rangers confirmed that the tree had been cut down with a chainsaw. Locals reported hearing nothing suspicious during the night, despite the strong winds from Storm Agnes.
The Sycamore Gap tree, which stood beside the historic Hadrian’s Wall, was named Tree of the Year in 2016 by the Woodland Trust. Andrew Poad, the general manager of the National Trust, expressed his disbelief and sadness at the felling, stating that the tree is part of the area’s DNA. The heritage conservation charity has already announced plans to collect seeds and take cuttings from the fallen tree. Poad acknowledged the possibility of the stump regrowing, but emphasized that it will never be the same.
The chief executive of the Northumberland National Park, Tony Gates, has expressed his willingness to listen to ideas from the community on how to move forward. He believes that there are already many good ideas being put forward and wants to ensure that the voices of the local residents are heard.
The destruction of the Sycamore Gap tree has garnered attention both nationally and internationally. Many people are saddened by the loss of such an iconic and historic landmark. It serves as a reminder of the importance of preserving and protecting our natural and cultural heritage.
Authorities are keen to bring those responsible to justice and are urging anyone with information to come forward. The incident has sparked a collective determination to prevent such acts of vandalism in the future and to safeguard our cherished landmarks for generations to come.