Teen in custody after U.K.’s world-famous ‘Sycamore Gap tree’ chopped down

Sept. 28 (UPI) — For about 300 years, a sycamore tree grew by the remains of the ancient Hadrian’s Wall in northern England.

Overnight Thursday, someone swiftly and deliberately chopped it down.

Authorities say a 16-year-old boy has been arrested after the the world-renowned “Sycamore Gap tree” was felled.

The tree is also known as the “Robin Hood tree” because of how prominently it was featured in the 1991 Kevin Costner film “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.”

In a statement released Thursday, Northumberland National Park officials confirmed the tree had been brought down deliberately.

“Northumberland National Park Authority can confirm that, sadly, the famous tree at Sycamore Gap has come down overnight,” park officials said. “We have reason to believe it has been deliberately felled.”

The park said it is working with authorities on the matter and will release more details later.

In a post on X, Northumbria Police said they believe the incident is a “deliberate act of vandalism” and that the unnamed suspect remains in police custody.

The park asked that visitors stay away from the site until the area is safe and until law-enforcement authorities know more about what happened to bring down the tree, which is one of the most famous in the world and beloved by naturalists.

“I can’t express how angry I am at the vandalism of the tree at #SycamoreGap,” North of Tyne Mayor Jamie Driscoll posted on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter. “People have had their ashes scattered there. People have proposed there. I’ve picnicked there with my wife and kids. It’s part of our collective soul.”

“We must bring whoever did this to justice,” he said.

According to the park’s website, Sycamore Gap was voted English Tree of the Year in 2016 in the Woodland Trust’s awards.

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