A 16-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with the felling of one of the UK’s most well-known trees. The landmark at Sycamore Gap, beside Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland, was cut down overnight. Northumberland National Park Authority officials believe the tree, known as Robin Hood’s Tree, was deliberately felled.
Northumbria Police said the teenager had been arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and is currently in custody, assisting with the investigation.
Supt Kevin Waring described the tree as “a world-renowned landmark” and expressed the shock, sadness, and anger felt by the local community and beyond. He appealed to the public for any information that could assist in the investigation.
The tree, which grew in a natural dip in the landscape near Hexham, was featured in the 1991 film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. In 2016, it was named Tree of the Year in a competition organized by the Woodland Trust.
The felling of the tree sparked an outpouring of emotion, with many mourning the loss of an emblem of the North East. The National Trust expressed shock and sadness at the loss, calling the sycamore an important and iconic feature in the landscape for nearly 200 years.
Alison Hawkins, who witnessed the aftermath of the felling, described her shock and tearful reaction upon learning of the incident. The tree’s destruction has left many devastated and has drawn attention to the need for its protection.
Investigations into the incident are ongoing, and authorities are urging anyone with information to come forward as even the smallest details could prove crucial to the case. The loss of Robin Hood’s Tree has left a gap in the landscape and a sense of loss in the community.