Second arrest made after ‘senseless destruction’ of 300-year-old ‘Robin Hood’ tree near Hadrian’s Wall
Man arrested for destroying 300-year-old tree near Hadrian's Wall, it was featured in the 1991 movie ‘Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves’ starring Kevin Costner.
A man in his 60s has been arrested by the British police on Friday, following the destruction of a 300-year-old sycamore tree near Hadrian’s Wall, a Roman landmark in northeast England.
This is the second arrest in the case, after a 16-year-old boy was released on bail on Thursday.
The tree, which was located at Sycamore Gap, was a popular attraction for walkers and tourists, as it was featured in the 1991 movie ‘Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves’ starring Kevin Costner. It was also a symbol of the region’s natural and cultural heritage, as it grew for centuries along the UNESCO World Heritage Site that was built by the Romans almost 2,000 years ago to protect their northern frontier.
The police said they were shocked and outraged by the “senseless destruction” of the tree, which was cut down near its base overnight.
“The senseless destruction of what is undoubtedly a world-renowned landmark, and a local treasure, has quite rightly resulted in an outpouring of shock, horror, and anger throughout the North East and further afield,” Detective Chief Inspector Rebecca Fenney-Menzies said.
“I hope this second arrest demonstrates just how seriously we’re taking this situation, and our ongoing commitment to find those responsible and bring them to justice,” she added.
The incident also sparked a wave of sadness and anger among the public, especially among nature lovers and conservationists. Robert Macfarlane, a famous nature writer, said he was “sick to the core” to hear about the news. He said that the tree was “known and loved by millions” and that it had witnessed many human stories over the years.
“I just see this as part of a piece with a much broader hostile environment towards the living world in this country,” he told BBC radio.
He suggested that a new forest should be planted in honor of the fallen tree.
Britain is one of the most deforested countries in Europe, due to its history of industrialization and urbanization.
The National Trust, which owns and manages many of the country’s natural and historical sites, said it was “making the site safe, and helping staff and the community come to terms with the news”.
There is a slim chance that the tree could regenerate from its stump, but experts said it would be very difficult and it would never look the same.
Rob Ternent, head gardener at The Alnwick Garden nearby, said that the first signs of growth could appear in spring, but they could be damaged by animals or weather.
“It’ll be very difficult to get it back to the original tree,” he said.
“It was about 300 years old, so it’ll take a long time to get back to that size.”