Senseless vandalism of the worst kind

Iconic Sycamore Gap tree, which stood for 300 years alongside Hadrian’s Wall, was discovered cut down this morning.

Sycamore Gap Tree

The world famous tree, voted 2016 English tree of the year in the Woodland Trust competition, which brought joy to so many and even featured in the 1991 film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, was deliberately felled in the dead of night.

Officers have arrested a suspect, amidst national outpouring over the incredible sadness of the loss of the ancient landmark. Police said they believed the felling to have been a deliberate act of vandalism. An act, which is made even more tragic on the day of the publication of the State of Nature report, which outlined the alarming degree of plant loss in the UK and that we now live in one most nature-depleted countries in the world. A message which sadly never reached this dismal individual, who destroyed hundreds of years of natural history. A senseless crime, which robbed us all of joy and natural beauty.

Reports have stated that the National Trust will be collecting seeds and taking cuttings from the tree in a bid to save some of its proud heritage. The stump may regrow, but as a multi-stem and not the perfectly positioned standard, which has been gently coaxed into shape over the centuries. A difficult decision will need to be made by the National Trust to replace or let regrow.

Hopefully, in addition to whatever punishment awaits the culprits and suspected accomplices, they will comprehend the sordid degree of their depravity and do better. A lot better.

A sad day for all, but with possibly some small hope that trees are bestowed with the respect they deserve, from noble ancient wonders to the smallest whip.