National Trust issue warning over Sycamore Gap with staff on alert over vandal copycats

Sycamore Gap cut down

The Sycamore Gap, one of the most photographed trees in the world, was chopped down two weeks ago

Georgina Cutler

By Georgina Cutler

Published: 12/10/2023

- 20:41

Updated: 12/10/2023

- 21:10

The 300-year-old tree at Hadrian's Wall in Northumberland was axed two weeks ago

An alert has been issued to National Trust officers over the potential of copycat attacks after the felling of the Sycamore Gap.

The warning comes after the 300-year-old tree at Hadrian's Wall in Northumberland was axed two weeks ago.

Staff at National Trust are being told to stay vigilant and “keep an eye out for suspicious behaviour” following the incident.

Mike Innerdale, National Trust director for the North of England said: “The outpouring we’ve seen shows just how important the connection is between people and nature in its many forms.

Sycamore Tree

Locals and nature lovers are outraged at the felling of the 300-year-old tree


"And as we consider plans for this special tree, and this very special place, we’ll also look to harness that support for trees, landscapes and nature across the country, and use the sycamore as a symbol of recovery.”

A crane removed the 50ft sycamore on Thursday after investigations finished at the site.

Experts say they are "keeping options open" about what to do next and are hoping to survey the public on what should be done with the site.

In a bid to grow new saplings, seeds from the tree were collected, while a protective barrier is set to be erected around the stump.


Investigating officers say they have also taken scraps of bark for forensic analysis.

A local ex-lumberjack and a 16-year-old boy were arrested over the incident but have since been released on bail.

Alongside the damage to the tree, Historic England also confirmed last week that there was also minor damage to Hadrian's Wall.

A spokesperson for the organisation said: “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.”

Sycamore Gap after being cut downA large chainsaw has been seized after police searched a barn located near to where the Sycamore Gap tree once stoodJeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

The felling of the world-famous tree sparked outrage from nature lovers across the UK.

Nature experts suggest the stump could grow some new shoots next spring but it will take decades to become a new tree.

Detectives have investigated the damage following claims that vandalism was carried out by "a professional who knew where they were going to cut" on a windy night during 83mph Storm Agnes which would possibly have disguised the sound of a chainsaw.

You may like