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The Sycamore Gap Tree in pictures as nature lovers ‘shocked and saddened’ by felling

A natural beauty which will be remembered by many people across the country

Faiza Saqib
Tuesday 03 October 2023 07:03 BST
Walker lays flower tribute at historic Sycamore Gap after tree felling

A tourist attraction, a film location and a symbol of hope - the felled Sycamore Gap tree was many things to many people.

The 300 year-old natural beauty was one of the most photographed trees in the country and an iconic sight next to Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland. However, this week it was felled prompting an outpouring of anger and sorrow, from campaigners and the public alike.

It is not clear what happened yet, and a 16 year-old arrested as part of the investigation has now been released on bail. But the outrage over the tree toppling is still palpable.

The Sycamore Gap in all its former glory (AFP via Gett)

“We are shocked and desperately saddened to learn that the famous Sycamore Gap tree at Hadrian’s Wall has been felled overnight, in what appears to be an act of vandalism,” the National Trust said. “We know just how much this iconic tree is loved locally, nationally and by everyone who has visited.”

The tree even made it to the silver screen, appearing in the Kevin Costner film Robin Hood Prince of Thieves.

Below we look back at some of the striking images of the historic tree from over the years and what people had to say about it’s untimely destruction.

The Sycamore Gap tree once stood tall, capturing the beauty of nature and its surroundings ( Owen Humphreys/PA Wire/PA Images)
Rare noctilucent clouds appear over the tree on Hadrian's Wall in Northumberland ( Owen Humphreys/PA Wire/PA Images)

“I actually can’t believe someone would cut down such an iconic landmark, has been an amazing tourist attraction and a photographer’s dream...” award-winning photographer Owen Humphreys wrote in a post.

Animal advocate and president of ‘Act4AnimalsEU’ Philip Lymbery said: “So much love & so much heartbreak over the senseless felling of an iconic tree.”

Captured on 2015, stars filled the night sky above Sycamore Gap ( Owen Humphreys/PA Wire/PA Images)
It was one of the most photographed trees in the country ( Owen Humphreys/PA Wire/PA Images)
Investigations are ongoing into what happened to it (Owen Humphreys/PA Wire/PA Images)

The Hairy Bikers shared their fury at the apparent “vandalism” of the Sycamore Gap tree after it was felled overnight.

Si King, one half of the duo, said in a video on social media whomever is responsible has “murdered a sentinel of time and elemental spirit of Northumberland.

“I hope whoever has done that has a conscience. I hope you feel really good about yourself for whatever warped reason you’ve done it... I’m beyond words.”

The tree was an inspiration for many (Tom White/PA Wire/PA Images)
Northern Lights seen above the Sycamore Gap tree (Owen Humphreys/PA Archive/PA Images)

“Somebody has taken a chainsaw to one of our nation’s most beautiful sights,” journalist and presenter Sanny Rudravajhala wrote on X.

And one caller told LBC news: “My father spent four and a half years in various prison camps and a concentration camp... the thought of walking the wall and seeing the tree kept him going,”

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