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Beloved Sycamore Gap Tree on Hadrian’s Wall Destroyed in Shocking Act of Vandalism

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In a shocking act of vandalism, the famous Sycamore Gap tree on Hadrian's Wall in Northumberland, England, was felled overnight.[0] The tree, estimated to be between 200 and 300 years old, was a beloved landmark and a popular tourist attraction.[1] It gained fame after appearing in the 1991 film “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves,” starring Kevin Costner.[0] In a key scene from the movie, Robin Hood is seen pulling leaves from the tree as he walks along Hadrian's Wall with the warrior Azeem, played by Morgan Freeman.[2]

The incident has sparked outrage among the local community and beyond. Northumbria Police launched a full investigation, treating the felling of the tree as a deliberate act of vandalism.[3] A 16-year-old boy was subsequently arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage in connection with the incident.[1] The boy remains in police custody, assisting officers with their inquiries.[4]

The news of the tree's destruction has devastated many, including Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness. She expressed her deep sadness and anger at the loss of the iconic tree, describing it as an “iconic North East landmark.” McGuinness vowed to personally raise the issue and ensure that those responsible for the vandalism are brought to justice.

The Northumberland National Park Authority, which looks after the Sycamore Gap area along with the National Trust, released a statement expressing their sorrow.[5] They asked the public to refrain from visiting the site while they work with their partners to determine what happened and make the area safe.

The Sycamore Gap tree was a cherished symbol of the region and was even voted English Tree of the Year in 2016 in the Woodland Trust's awards.[6] Its unique location, nestled in a dramatic dip in Hadrian's Wall, made it a favorite subject for photographers from around the world.[7]

Superintendent Kevin Waring of Northumbria Police described the incident as a significant shock and expressed sadness and anger on behalf of the local community. He assured the public that the police force is fully committed to finding out the full circumstances surrounding the tree's felling and will use all available resources to investigate the matter thoroughly.

The investigation is ongoing, and anyone with information related to the incident is urged to come forward. Northumbria Police has provided contact details for members of the public to share any suspicious or relevant information.[8]

The destruction of the Sycamore Gap tree is not just a loss for the local community but also for the cultural and historical significance it held. Its appearance in a well-known film and music video only added to its fame and allure. Many hope that justice will be served, and those responsible for the destruction of this iconic landmark will be held accountable.

0. “UK police arrest teenager in connection to cutting down ancient tree seen in ‘Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves'” Fox News, 29 Sep. 2023,

1. “Boy, 16, arrested after felling of famous Sycamore Gap tree at Hadrian’s Wall” The Guardian, 28 Sep. 2023,

2. “England's Iconic Sycamore Gap Tree Destroyed by Act of Vandalism” Ancient Origins, 28 Sep. 2023,

3. “Hairy Bikers react to felled Sycamore Gap Tree, Northumberland” Hexham Courant, 28 Sep. 2023,

4. “Teenager arrested after tree allegedly felled at Sycamore Gap in Northumberland” Sunderland Echo, 28 Sep. 2023,

5. “Famed Sycamore Gap tree in England felled in “malicious act of vandalism”” Boing Boing, 28 Sep. 2023,

6. “Boy, 16, arrested over felling of iconic ‘Robin Hood tree' next to Hadrian's Wall” Evening Standard, 28 Sep. 2023,

7. “Boy, 16, arrested amid anger and sorrow after world-famous tree chopped down” The Independent, 28 Sep. 2023,

8. “Police arrest 16-year-old boy in connection with Sycamore Gap tree felling” Shields Gazette, 28 Sep. 2023,

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