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Sycamore Gap tree – latest: Hadrian’s Wall damaged as National Trust flooded with offers of help

National Trust says it is ‘beginning discussions with stakeholders about future of site’

Matt Mathers,Tara Cobham
Friday 06 October 2023 05:05 BST
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Sycamore Gap: 300-year-old tree stars in 90s classic Robin Hood movie before vandalism

Hadrian’s Wall has been damaged by the vandals who chopped down the Sycamore Gap tree, investigators have discovered.

Historic England said it found “some damage” had been caused to the 1,900-year-old wall, one of Britain’s best-known Unesco world heritage sites, in a preliminary inspection.

A spokesperson for the historical preservation body told The Independent: “While we identified that Hadrian’s Wall has sustained some damage, we have not been able to access the site to carry out a full investigation so a further archaeological appraisal will take place once the site is considered safe.

It comes as The National Trust, which manages the land in Northumberland where the iconic tree once stood, said it has been “overwhelmed” with thousands of messages of support and over 150 offers of help.

The charity told The Independent its immediate priority has been ensuring the safety of the tree and it is still working on plans for the safe removal of Sycamore Gap. But the spokesperson added that The National Trust is “beginning discussions with stakeholders about the future of the site”.

Police previously arrested a 16-year-old boy and a man, aged in his 60s, in connection with the incident. Both have since been released on bail.

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Hadrian’s Wall damaged by vandals who chopped down Sycamore Gap

Hadrian’s Wall has been damaged by the vandals who chopped down the Sycamore Gap tree, investigators have discovered.

Historic England said it found “some damage” had been caused to the 1,900-year-old wall, one of Britain’s best-known Unesco world heritage sites, in a preliminary inspection.

A spokesperson for the historical preservation body told The Independent: “While we identified that Hadrian’s Wall has sustained some damage, we have not been able to access the site to carry out a full investigation so a further archaeological appraisal will take place once the site is considered safe.

Hadrian’s Wall has been damaged by the vandals who chopped down the Sycamore Gap tree, investigators have discovered

Tara Cobham5 October 2023 09:45
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More updates tomorrow

That’s it for tonight - we’ll bring more on the Sycamore Gap tree in the morning.

Alex Ross5 October 2023 22:44
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Tree can be saved, say experts - recap

In case you missed it: Experts say the much-loved sycamore tree could be saved:

Can the Sycamore Gap tree be saved?

Widespread outrage and upset as police believe cutting down of tree was deliberate act of vandalism

Jane Dalton5 October 2023 20:05
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In Pictures: Solitary tree became famous worldwide

In Pictures: Solitary tree at landmark Roman ruin became famous worldwide

The site at Sycamore Gap at Hadrian’s Wall was used as a film location and was a favourite of photographers.

Jane Dalton5 October 2023 18:50
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Tree remembered in knitted form

A postbox “topper” has been knitted to remember the sycamore tree that was axed.

The creative item has appeared on a postbox in Hexham, Northumberland.

Jane Dalton5 October 2023 17:57
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Watch: Walker lays flower tribute at historic Sycamore Gap after tree felling

Walker lays flower tribute at historic Sycamore Gap after tree felling
Andy Gregory5 October 2023 15:26
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Full Historic England statement on Hadrian’s Wall damage

We visited Sycamore Gap on Friday for a preliminary inspection. Whilst we identified that Hadrian’s Wall has sustained some damage, we have not been able to access the site to carry out a full investigation so a further archaeological appraisal will take place once the site is considered safe. As the government’s heritage adviser, we are involved because Hadrian’s Wall is protected as a scheduled monument. We appreciate how strongly people feel about the loss of the tree, and its impact on this special historic landscape, and will continue to work closely with key partners as this progresses.

Historic England
Tara Cobham5 October 2023 12:15
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National Trust collect seed and cuttings from tree

The National Trust has disclosed that its rangers and horticultural specialists have collected seed and cuttings from the Sycamore Gap tree.

The charity said: "National Trust rangers and horticultural specialists have collected seed and cuttings from the tree, using special permission from DEFRA. The material is with the National Trust's Plant Conservation Centre team of specialist propagators while the charity decides the best way forward."

The Sycamore Gap tree standing majestically before it was felled

Tara Cobham5 October 2023 11:15
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National Trust says yet to remove tree in latest statement

The National Trust has said it is still working on plans for the safe removal of the Sycamore Gap tree from its site in Northumberland.

In its latest update, the charity said it has been “overwhelmed” by over 150 offers of help and thousands of messages of support.

While its immediate priority has been ensuring the safety of the site and tree, the National Trust added that it is “beginning discussions with stakeholders about the future of the site”.

The charity’s statement said: “We've been overwhelmed by the support we've seen from near and far. It is clear this tree was special to many, many people. We've received over 150 offers of help, and still rising, and thousands of messages of support, with many sharing their memories and good wishes with us.

“Offers of help and ideas for the future of the tree have ranged from craftspeople offering their skills, to fundraising initiatives. We're grateful to everyone who has been in touch.

“In the immediate term, our priority has been to ensure the safety of the site, and the tree, and to support staff and the local community coming to terms with the news. We are beginning discussions with stakeholders about the future of the site, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and will be working with Northumberland National Park and local people to decide the best way forward. We will share updates as soon as we know.”

The felled Sycamore Gap tree remains at the site along Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland

Tara Cobham5 October 2023 08:40
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National Trust to meet with stakeholders to decide future steps

The National Trust, which manages the land where the Sycamore Gap tree once stood, is meeting with its stakeholders to decide whether to try to save or replace the iconic maple.

The charity said it has been “overwhelmed” with messages of support and offers of help.

“It is clear this tree was special to many, many people,” a spokesperson told The Independent. “In the immediate term, our priority has been to ensure the safety of the site, and the tree, and to support staff and the local community coming to terms with the news.

“We are beginning discussions with stakeholders about the future of the site, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and will be working with Northumberland National Park and local people to decide the best way forward. We will inform people as soon as we know.”

Andy Gregory5 October 2023 06:48

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