13 December 2023

Man arrested over felling of Sycamore Gap tree to face no further action

13 December 2023

A man arrested following the felling of the famous Sycamore Gap tree will face no further action, police have said.

There was a national outcry in September when the much-loved, 200-year-old Northumberland tree, which stood in a dramatic dip on Hadrian’s Wall, was found to have been cut down in mysterious circumstances.

Northumbria Police made a number of arrests on suspicion of causing criminal damage in the wake of the vandalism. A teenager was later informed he will face no further action and now a man in his 60s has been told the same.

Two men in their 30s remain on bail, the force said on Wednesday as officers pledged again that those responsible will be brought to justice.

Detective Chief Inspector Rebecca Fenney-Menzies said: “I would like to reassure the public that our investigation continues, and we are committed to establishing the full circumstances surrounding the damage, and in bringing any offenders to justice.

“Sycamore Gap is an iconic part of our region’s landscape and we know just how much outrage this incident has caused.

“As always, we continue to welcome any new information from members of the public that could help progress us the investigation.

“We would also like to remind people to avoid speculation and to take care with the information they share and post on social media as this could have repercussions for our investigation.”

Earlier this month the National Trust, which owns the land on which the tree stood, said it was hopeful the sycamore will live on after scientists found that salvaged seeds and cuttings are showing positive signs of being viable for new growth.

The charity announced that is is hopeful more than 30% of the mature seeds and half of the cuttings it collected from the tree’s remains will be viable.

It is also hopeful that the trunk of the original tree will regrow, but it may be up to three years before this is known for sure.

The charity said it is also working on a “fitting tribute” to the tree to ensure its legacy lives on.

This follows an unprecedented public response to the felling on National Trust and Northumberland National Park’s social media channels.

Anyone with information about the felling of the tree overnight on September 27 to 28 has been asked to contact Northumbria Police via the Tell Us Something page of the force website or by calling 101 quoting log NP-20230928-0295.

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