Teenager Arrested For Chainsawing Historic English Tree Featured In Movie.

Kevin Costner and Morgan Freeman filmed at the location in 1991's Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.
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A 16-year-old boy has been arrested close the border between England and Scotland charged with the “deliberate” felling of a famous sycamore tree that had stood for nearly 200 years next to the famous Roman Hadrian’s Wall, a fortified stone wall that built by the Romans to keep out marauding Scots and Picts.

Thousands of visitors each year walk along Hadrian’s Wall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that guarded the Roman Empire’s northwestern frontier.

Many pause to admire and photograph the tree at Sycamore Gap, a beloved icon of the landscape made famous when it appeared in Kevin Costner’s 1991 film Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves.

Steve Blair, who manages the Twice Brewed Inn in Bardon Mill, Hexham, which is just a stone’s throw away from the famous site, believed it was “the most photographed tree” in the Northern Hemisphere.

“The tree is such a big draw for tourism in the north of England and in such a beautiful countryside as well,” he said.

“It’s quite a popular place for people to propose and for wedding photographs.

“It’s so symbolic, you see people sitting on the bankside viewing the tree for hours at a time.”

Photographs from the scene on Thursday showed the tree was cut down near the base of its trunk, with the rest of it lying on its side. It appeared to have been cut down with a chainsaw.

Northumbria Police said the teen was arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage. He was in police custody and assisting officers with their inquiries.

“The tree is a world-renowned landmark and the vandalism has caused understandable shock and anger throughout the local community and beyond,” police said in a statement.

“This is an incredibly sad day,” police Superintendent Kevin Waring said. “The tree was iconic to the North East and enjoyed by so many who live in or who have visited this region.”

The Northumberland National Park authority asked the public not to visit the felled tree, which was voted English Tree of the Year in 2016.

Alison Hawkins, who was walking on the Hadrian’s Wall path, was one of the first people who saw the destruction.

“It was a proper shock. It’s basically the iconic picture that everyone wants to see,” she said. “You can forgive nature doing it – but you can’t forgive that.”

The teenager has not been named and no one knows what his motive was.

Sources: BBC, AP News.
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