Beloved Sycamore Gap tree "deliberately felled" at Hadrian's Wall
KameraOne - Short Cuts / VideoElephant
A 16-year-old has been released on bail following his arrest on suspicion of criminal damage on one of the UK's most photographed trees.
Authorities said the Sycamore Gap, next to Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland, was "deliberately felled” in an apparent act of vandalism.
The National Trust said it was "shocked and saddened" that the "iconic" tree had been cut down.
National Trust general manager Andrew Poad, said: "We are deeply shocked at what appears to be, an act of vandalism.
"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."
Alison Hawkins, who lives in Liverpool, was one of the first people to see the fallen tree, posting a picture on Facebook, writing: "An awful moment for all walking Hadrians wall the Sycamore Gap tree has gone! Not the storm an absolute ******* felled it!!"
Hawkins, who was on her fourth day of walking Hadrian’s Wall, said she was "tearful" when she discovered the tree had been cut down.
"At first we thought it was because of the storm but then we saw a national park ranger," she told PA News.
"He said it had been cut down and there was paint around the cut section, so it was a professional who knew where they were going to cut."
"It was a proper shock," she continued. "It’s basically the iconic picture that everyone wants to see."
"You can forgive nature doing it but you can’t forgive that. We’ve carried on the walk but news is spreading so we’ve passed quite a few people asking us if it’s true."
Inevitably, once the news about the beloved tree spread to X/Twitter, devastated locals took to the platform with their thoughts:
Some of the pictures taken over the 13 years I lived nearby.\nRIP Sycamore tree.
Good morning you fabulous souls of humanity.\nWelcome to fuck em Friday given this week to the total arsewipe(s) that cut down a beautiful 300! year old Sycamore tree that stood on Hadrians wall. 300 years old, the history it\u2019s seen and you total fucktard(s) chopped it down.\nSB\ud83d\ude0a
One of the most iconic sights in Britain is this sycamore tree that sits next to Hadrian\u2019s Wall. \n\nFor a 16 year old to chop it down is horrible. \n\n\u201cA society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they shall never sit.\u201d\n\nWhy have people become so vile?
I'm almost lost for words this morning on hearing that the beautiful sycamore tree at Sycamore Gap on Hadrians' Wall has been deliberately felled overnight. \n\nWhat an absolutely disgusting act of mindless vandalism.
I'm sat here, looking at those pictures of that sycamore tree and all I can think is what a wonderful job that 16 year old did. \n\nHe cut a wonderful hinge joint and it looks like it fell perfectly. An amazing achievement in a storm.