In a shocking incident in northern England, a 16-year-old teen boy has been apprehended following the “deliberate” felling of one of the nation’s most historically significant trees. This centuries-old tree, located at Sycamore Gap along the renowned Hadrian’s Wall, had nearly two centuries of history when it was mysteriously cut down earlier this week. The vandalism of this teen to the iconic landmark has left many in disbelief.
A Shocking Discovery:
Alison Hawkins, who was strolling along the Hadrian’s Wall path, was among the first to witness the damage on an early Thursday morning. She expressed her astonishment, stating, “It was a proper shock. It’s basically the iconic picture that everyone wants to see. You can forgive nature doing it, but you can’t forgive that.”
A Beloved Landmark:
Each year, thousands of visitors explore Hadrian’s Wall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that once safeguarded the Roman Empire’s north-western frontier. Many have paused to admire and photograph the tree, which was situated near the village of Once Brewed in Northumberland. Notably, it was also known as “Robin Hood’s tree,” gaining fame after featuring in Kevin Costner’s 1991 film, “Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves.”
A Senseless Act of Vandalism:
Photographs taken at the scene showed that the tree had been cut down near the base of its trunk, leaving it lying on its side. Northumbria Police arrested the teenager on suspicion of causing criminal damage. He is currently in police custody, cooperating with officers during their investigations.
The police department issued a statement expressing their dismay, saying, “The tree is a world-renowned landmark, and the vandalism has caused understandable shock and anger throughout the local community and beyond. Given our investigation remains at a very early stage, we are keeping an open mind.”
Local superintendent Kevin Waring described it as “an incredibly sad day.” The tree held immense significance to the people of the north-east, and it was cherished by those who lived in the region and by visitors.
The Northumberland National Park authority has urged the public not to visit the felled tree. This iconic tree received the title of English Tree of the Year in 2016. Andrew Poad, the trust’s general manager for Hadrian’s Wall and Tyne Valley, highlighted the tree’s importance to the local community and to all who had visited the site.