A 16-year-old was arrested for cutting down the famous tree on Hadrian's Wall

LONDON (CNN) — The famous tree that guarded Hadrian's Wall in Britain for more than 200 years was “deliberately cut down” in what authorities described as an “act of vandalism”.

The sycamore tree, located in Northumberland National Park in northern England, became famous to millions of people around the world when it appeared in Kevin Costner's 1991 hit film “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.”

Police said they arrested a 16-year-old boy and a man in his 60s after the incident, which occurred on Thursday evening.

The tree, at a site known as Sycamore Gap, was located on the historic Hadrian's Wall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, built about 1,900 years ago to protect the far northwestern border of the Roman Empire.

Sycamore tree uk

The tree before it is cut down. Image source: Andrzej Poling/Olstein Bild/Getty Images

The Sycamore Gap sycamore is one of the most photographed trees in England, and was recognized as English Tree of the Year in 2016.

The National Trust, the charity that runs the site, expressed its “shock and sadness” at the tree being cut down.

Andrew Budd, chief executive of North East National Trust, said: “The tree has been an important and iconic feature of the landscape for almost 200 years and means a lot to the local community and anyone who has visited the site.”

The Northumberland National Park Authority said it was now “working with relevant agencies and partners interested in this iconic landmark in the North East”.

The national park urged visitors to stay away while security was restored at the site.

See also  Kate Bush explained the meaning of "Running Up That Hill," the song that became "vintage" thanks to Stranger Things

The police, who had previously announced that they were investigating what was believed to be a “deliberate act of sabotage,” said that a 16-year-old boy was arrested in connection with the incident.

Sycamore tree

The sycamore tree, seen here in 2021, was a striking presence in the wild landscape surrounding Hadrian's Wall. Photograph: Kevin Taverner/CNN

“He remains in police custody at this time and is assisting officers with their investigations,” Northumbria Police posted on the X website, adding that “the investigation is still at a very early stage.”

The man in his 60s was later arrested. “We hope this second arrest shows how seriously we take this situation and our commitment to finding those responsible and bringing them to justice,” police said on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Before the arrests, police described the tree as a “world-famous landmark.”

A statement from Northumbria Police said: “The vandalism has caused understandable shock and outrage throughout the local community and beyond.”

Superintendent Kevin Waring added: “This is a very sad day. The tree was a symbol of the North East and was enjoyed by many who live in this area or have visited.”

He added: “Anyone responsible for this damage, which we believe to be a deliberate act of vandalism, can expect prompt and appropriate punishment.”

Editor's note: This article has been updated with current information.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *