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Sycamore Gap tree - latest: Second man denies causing £620,000 worth of damage to landmark as trial date set

Daniel Graham and Adam Carruthers are accused of causing over £600,000 worth of damage

Holly Evans
Wednesday 12 June 2024 14:00
Daniel Graham, left, and Adam Carruthers, right, wore masks outside court at a previous hearing over the felled Sycamore Gap tree (Owen Humphreys/PA)
Daniel Graham, left, and Adam Carruthers, right, wore masks outside court at a previous hearing over the felled Sycamore Gap tree (Owen Humphreys/PA) (PA Wire)

A second man has denied felling the famous Sycamore Gap tree and allegedly causing thousands of pounds of damage.

Adam Carruthers, 31, is accused of causing £622,191 worth of damage to the much-photographed tree and causing £1,144 worth of damage to Hadrian’s Wall, which is a Unesco World Heritage site.

Co-accused Daniel Graham, 38, did not attend the hearing as he was “unavoidably detained”, his barrister Christopher Knox said.

There was a national outcry in September when the much-loved, centuries-old tree in rural Northumberland was found to have been cut down.

The tree, believed to have been one of the most photographed in the country, used to sit in a gap along Hadrian’s Wall and was a popular hotspot for tourists and walkers.

Its origins are believed to have dated back to medieval times and it has been excavated on two previous occasions when Roman remains linked to Hadrian’s Wall were found.

Northumberland National Park (NNP) said it had received 2,000 “heartfelt” messages from people from all around the world expressing sadness, and that it had been inundated with offers of help.

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‘A sentinel of time’

Many paid tribute to the tree after it was felled, with one woman writing a poem to express her sadness as she described the tree as a “sentinel of time”.

Laura Charlton, said she wrote the poem, an Ode to a Sycamore Tree, to try to capture the “recklessness of the actions and the sense of bereavement the locals are feeling.”

“The birds sing their morning song/Wind dances through the leaves/Almost just as it once was/Yet Northumberland is bereaved,” it read.

Holly Evans12 June 2024 14:00
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Pictured: Sycamore Gap tree grafted buds being nurtured

Dame Judi Dench is presented with a seedling from the Sycamore Gap tree in the Octavia Hill Garden by Blue Diamond (Yui Mok/PA)
Dame Judi Dench is presented with a seedling from the Sycamore Gap tree in the Octavia Hill Garden by Blue Diamond (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Wire)
Director of Gardens and Parklands at the National Trust, Andy Jasper, with the first Sycamore Gap seedling at the Chelsea Flower Show last week
Director of Gardens and Parklands at the National Trust, Andy Jasper, with the first Sycamore Gap seedling at the Chelsea Flower Show last week (Ann-Marie Powell/PA Wire)
Holly Evans12 June 2024 13:15
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Pictures of the felled Sycamore tree

Sycamore Gap tree was felled overnight in September
Sycamore Gap tree was felled overnight in September (Getty Images)
It caused over £600,000 worth of damage
It caused over £600,000 worth of damage (EPA)
Holly Evans12 June 2024 12:40
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Sycamore Gap tree to go on public display after row

The fate of the felled Sycamore Gap tree has been decided as it is set to be displayed at a tourist attraction near its original site.

There was an outcry when the tree was illegally chainsawed in September, with Northumberland National Park saying it had received 2,000 “heartfelt” messages from people from all around the world expressing sorrow.

Historic England said Hadrian’s Wall had suffered damage when it was felled in an act of vandalism, and the future of the famed tree has been uncertain until now.

Read the full article here:

Fate of Sycamore Gap decided as tree to go on display at nearby tourist attraction

Northumberland National Park said that the largest section of the tree would go on display at a tourist attraction close to its original site

Holly Evans12 June 2024 12:05
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Defendant Adam Carruthers pictured at court

Adam Carruthers pictured leaving Newcastle Crown Court
Adam Carruthers pictured leaving Newcastle Crown Court (Owen Humphreys/PA Wire)
Carruthers has denied causing criminal damage to the Sycamore Gap tree
Carruthers has denied causing criminal damage to the Sycamore Gap tree (Owen Humphreys/PA Wire)
Holly Evans12 June 2024 11:35
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Trial date set

Judge Paul Sloan KC set a trial date of December 3 and granted Adam Carruthers conditional bail in the meantime.

He set a case management hearing for August 27.

Co-accused Daniel Graham had previously denied the same offences at a magistrates’ court hearing.

Holly Evans12 June 2024 11:15
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Second man denies felling Sycamore Gap tree

A second defendant accused of felling the famous Sycamore Gap tree and causing more than £620,000 of damage has denied the offences.

Adam Carruthers, 31, of Church Street, Wigton, Cumbria, appeared at Newcastle Crown Court to deny causing £622,191 worth of damage to the much-photographed Northumberland tree.

He also denied causing £1,144 worth of damage to Hadrian’s Wall, a Unesco World Heritage Site, which was hit by the tree when it was felled overnight on September 28 2023.

Co-accused Daniel Graham, 38, of Milbeck Stables, Carlisle, did not attend the hearing as he was “unavoidably detained”, his barrister Christopher Knox said.

Graham had previously denied the same offences at a magistrates’ court hearing.

Holly Evans12 June 2024 11:00
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Previous court sketch shows two men accused of felling tree

A previous court sketch from their last hearing shows Adam Carruthers and Daniel Graham in the dock of Newcastle magistrates court.

(Elizabeth Cook/PA Wire)
Holly Evans12 June 2024 10:42
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Why was the Sycamore Gap tree so significant?

The tree, believed to have been one of the most photographed in the country, used to sit in a gap along Hadrian’s Wall - a UNESCO World Heritage Site - in rural Northumberland and was a popular hotspot for tourists, walkers and others.

It is believed to have dated back to medieval times and has been excavated on two occasions - between 1908 and 1911 and again between 1982 and 1987, when Roman remains linked to Hadrian’s Wall were found.

The sycamore perhaps first became known around the globe after featuring in the film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, starring Kevin Costner, Morgan Freeman and Alan Rickman.

Sycamore Gap was felled in an act of vandalism in September (Owen Humphreys/PA)
Sycamore Gap was felled in an act of vandalism in September (Owen Humphreys/PA) (PA Archive)
Holly Evans12 June 2024 10:05
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Sycamore Gap tree given new life at top-secret lab

In case you missed this piece from March:

Shoots from the rescued seeds and twigs of the Sycamore Gap have sprung up in a secret National Trust laboratory, fuelling hopes the iconic tree will regrow after it was cut down with a chainsaw.

Scientists acted fast, grabbing young cuttings thrown to the ground when the tree fell before whisking them off to a high-security Devon greenhouse guarding genetic copies of the UK’s most precious plants.

Five months on in the lab which keeps its exact location shrouded in mystery, tiny shoots are regrowing with nine grafted plants and 50 seedling clones that could be used as back-up in case the stump doesn’t regrow naturally.

Read the full article here:

Sycamore Gap tree given new life at top-secret lab

The Sycamore Gap tree was chopped down illegally six months ago – but today, there are reasons to be hopeful with new life springing from cuttings from the famous tree

Holly Evans12 June 2024 09:59

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