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300 year-old world famous Sycamore tree is cut down overnight by vandals


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A 300-year-old landmark tree, which famously featured in Robin Hood has been felled overnight in a 'malicious act of vandalism'.

The Sycamore Gap, along Hadrian's Wall in Northumberland, is one of the UK's most photographed trees and featured in the 1991 film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves starring Kevin Costner and Morgan Freeman.

But it was found chopped down with its upper section lying across the historic Roman barrier.

Walkers noticed how part of the tree appeared to have been marked with white paint, indicating someone may have felled it with a chainsaw.

It has sparked claims that the tree was vandalised by a 'professional' and the park authority believes it was deliberately chopped down out of spite by vandals or someone with a grudge.

Alison Hawkins, who lives close by was one of the first on the scene, posting a picture on Facebook with the caption: 'An awful moment for all walking Hadrian's Wall. The Sycamore Gap tree has gone! Not the storm, an absolute ******* felled it!!'

Ms 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.

She said: 'At first we thought it was because of the storm but then we saw a national park ranger.

'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 huge shock. It's basically the iconic picture that everyone wants to see. You can forgive nature doing it but you can't forgive that.'

Update: A 60 year old man and 16 year old boy have since been arrested. More to come...



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I really want to know what the motivation for this was. It just seems so strange. It's not like it's building land or anything. Nobody has anything to gain by the tree being chopped down which makes it even more upsetting. 

Many have said that it must have been done by a professional - it was during a severe storm and sixteen years old don't hike forty minutes with a specialist chainsaw in a storm to chop down a three hundred year old tree!

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  • Crux changed the title to 300 year-old world famous Sycamore tree is cut down overnight by vandals
21 hours ago, promise to try said:

what an asshole. I guess he wanted attention

Looks like it might be a farmer with a grudge who'd just been evicted from his farm nearby. 

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