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Mystery surrounds felling of historic Sycamore Gap tree in England

By T.K. Randall
October 2, 2023 · Comment icon 33 comments

The tree photographed back in 2008. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Chris Gunns
The tree, which had stood for centuries, was felled recently, leaving authorities to ponder who had done it and why.
For 300 years, the famous and much-loved tree - which stood at a gap in Hadrian's Wall in Northumberland National Park - was a staple of the English countryside.

It was also known as 'Robin Hood Tree' due to its appearance in the 1991 movie Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.

At some point during the early hours of September 28th, however, someone ventured out and cut the historic tree down with a chainsaw in an apparent act of senseless vandalism that has sparked both an ongoing mystery and an extensive police investigation.

Little is known about the perpetrator other than that the felling seemed to have been pre-planned by someone who knew what they were doing because there was white paint on the tree where it was cut.
It has also been suggested that whoever it was had gone out on that particular night because the strong winds would have masked the sound of the chainsaw.

Whether they had an accomplice or acted alone remains unclear.

"Given our investigation remains at a very early stage, we are keeping an open mind," said Superintendent Kevin Waring.

"I am appealing to the public for information to assist us - if you have seen or heard anything suspicious that may be of interest to us, please let us know."

"Any information - no matter how small or insignificant you think it may be - could prove absolutely crucial to our inquiries."

Source: | Comments (33)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #24 Posted by pellinore 3 months ago
Comment icon #25 Posted by Piney 3 months ago
Comment icon #26 Posted by Still Waters 2 months ago
King to plant sapling from Sycamore Gap tree in Windsor Great Park The first successful seedling nurtured from seeds collected from the 200-year-old Sycamore Gap tree, which was illegally felled, will be planted in Windsor Great Park after being given to King Charles by the National Trust. The king intends that the seedling, presented as a gift on the last bank holiday Monday in May, known as Celebration Day, when we remember those no longer with us, will be planted when it has matured into a sapling for visitors to the park to enjoy it as a symbol that hope and beauty can come from loss, the... [More]
Comment icon #27 Posted by Duke Wellington 2 months ago
I don`t get it, its a tree.
Comment icon #28 Posted by Buzz_Light_Year 2 months ago
Sometimes they become more than just trees. Here in the states we have dotted across the landscape trees that are referred to as Anchor Trees. These are the last trees from a bygone era that were left standing as the trees were used as an anchor in which to pull out stumps of the other trees that were felled. Having no other tree to anchor to the tree was usually left standing. They served several purposes, shade for livestock, shade for farmers as they worked and boundry markers. These lone trees could also mark the place where a old homestead or farm once stood. Over time they became sentina... [More]
Comment icon #29 Posted by Duke Wellington 2 months ago
Enough firewood there for a week. Its a tree!
Comment icon #30 Posted by Buzz_Light_Year 2 months ago
Is Buckingham Palace just a building?
Comment icon #31 Posted by Duke Wellington 2 months ago
Not the same thing.
Comment icon #32 Posted by Buzz_Light_Year 2 months ago
It is the same thing. Buckingham Palace is just a building but it's the value placed on it by the English and the world that makes it what it is. It is the same with any other object, landmark, natural formation or a simple tree. 
Comment icon #33 Posted by Still Waters 9 days ago
‘Its memory will live on’: prints of Sycamore Gap tree to go on display Every growth ring, intricate groove and tiny detail from a section of trunk of the felled Sycamore Gap tree will be on display in the first official artistic response to its loss 10 months ago. The National Trust said it had asked the printmaker Shona Branigan to make commemorative artworks in memory of a tree that was loved and known across the world and that many considered part of the DNA of north-east England. Branigan was approached to made art directly from the tree. Five prints were created from a 90cm disc of ... [More]

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