A beloved tree in the United Kingdom that’s been photographed countless times was cut down in what police are calling an act of vandalism.
The Sycamore Gap Tree in Northumberland, England ― also known as the Robin Hood Tree due to its memorable role in the 1991 film “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves” ― was taken down with a chainsaw Wednesday night or Thursday morning.
A 16-year-old boy has been arrested, according to the BBC, which said he was helping with the investigation but did not elaborate.
The tree, which grew along Hadrian’s Wall in a dip between hills, was estimated to be 200 to 300 years old.
Locals told The Guardian they heard nothing due to high winds from a storm.
“I can’t understand why anyone would do this,” Kimberly McGuinness, the police and crime commissioner for Northumberland, told the newspaper. “It’s like stealing joy.”
“We are devastated by the news that the #SycamoreGap tree in Northumberland — also known as the Robin Hood tree — has been felled,” Woodland Trust, the country’s largest woodland conservation organization, wrote on X. “This is a truly irreplaceable loss.”
The Trust had named the sycamore “Tree of the Year” in 2016.
“We are shocked and desperately saddened to learn that the famous Sycamore Gap tree at Hadrian’s Wall has been felled overnight, in what appears to be an act of vandalism,” the National Trust wrote on X. “We know just how much this iconic tree is loved locally, nationally and by everyone who has visited.”
People expressed dismay and shared memories on social media: