UK police arrest teenager in connection to cutting down ancient tree seen in ‘Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves’
A famous centuries-old in Northumberland National Park in the United Kingdom was cut down overnight, and police have captured the 16-year-old culprit.
Located at the Sycamore Gap near Hadrian’s Wall, the tree was featured in the 1991 movie, “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.”
The iconic Hadrian’s Wall dates back to the Roman Empire, and construction of the wall began in 122 A.D. on the orders of Emperor Hadrian, who was visiting Britain at that time.
The tree does not date back as far, but it is estimated to be between 200 and 300 years old, according to reports.
On Thursday morning, images showed the large tree on its side, separated from its heart-shaped stump.
Officials at the Northumberland National Park issued a statement on the fallen tree after it was discovered.
“Northumberland National Park Authority can confirm that sadly, the famous tree at Sycamore Gap has come down overnight. We have reason to believe it has been deliberately felled,” the statement read. “We are working with the relevant agencies and partners with an interest in this iconic North East landmark and will issue more details once they are known.”
The Northumbria Police Department investigated the matter, condemning the vandalism and vowing to bring anyone responsible to justice.
“The tree is a world-renowned landmark, and the vandalism has caused shock and anger throughout the local community and beyond,” the department said.
Police said it appeared to be a deliberate act of violence.
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness said she was devastated that the famous tree was gone.
“That tree was ours,” she said. “It was an iconic North East landmark standing tall in our beautiful Northumberland. I am incandescent that this looks like a deliberate act of vandalism. I’ll be raising this personally today. I know Northumbria Police are at the scene and officers will do their utmost to catch whoever is behind this. Terrible news.”
By afternoon, police had arrested a 16-year-old boy in connection with the incident.
Police said the teenager remained in custody and was assisting police with their investigation.
Still, the investigation remains open, and the department asks anyone with information to visit its website and click on the “Tell Us Something” page or by calling the department directly.