Hadrian’s Wall damaged in felling of landmark ‘Robin Hood Tree’ in Britain

Hadrian’s Wall was damaged during the felling of a nearby world-famous tree, inspectors have found.
The Sycamore Gap tree in Northumberland in northern Britain is believed to have been about 300 years old. It was cut down overnight between Wednesday and Thursday last week, in what detectives have called a “deliberate act of vandalism.”

Early signs suggest historical landmark Hadrian’s Wall, which stands next to where the sycamore had been, sustained “some damage,” preservation body Historic England has said.

A forensic investigator from Northumbria Police photographs the felled Sycamore Gap tree, in Northumberland, England. Photo: AP

It comes after Northumbria police arrested a man in his 60s and a 16-year-old boy in connection with the incident.

Both have been released on bail.

A Historic England statement read: “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.”

Two people have been arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage in connection with the cutting down of one of the UK’s most photographed trees. Photo: AP

The wall, built by the Roman army on the orders of emperor Hadrian, has Unesco World Heritage status.

The sycamore was looked after by Northumberland National Park Authority and the National Trust.

It was among the UK’s most photographed trees and was made famous in a scene in Kevin Costner’s 1991 film Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves.

Experts have said new shoots are expected to grow from the tree, but it will never be the same.

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