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HomeNewsSycamore planted just metres from where iconic tree stood, must be removed

Sycamore planted just metres from where iconic tree stood, must be removed


A sapling planted by a member of the public after the Sycamore Gap tree was felled is to be removed by the National Trust.

Kieran Chapman, 27, from Newcastle, planted the young tree on Friday (September 29) just yards from the famous sycamore which had stood proudly in Northumberland National Park for 300 years.

The tree was made famous in a key scene in Kevin Costner’s 1991 film Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves and was among Britain’s most photographed trees.

Mr Chapman said he was moved to do something when he saw the outpouring of grief when the landmark tree was cut down overnight on Wednesday.

He was still planting the tree when camera crews were filming at the site at around 6pm on Friday, Chronicle Live reports.

Mr Chapman told ChronicleLive he planted the sapling because everyone was “devastated” about the felling of the ancient tree and had planned to take his dog for a walk there.

He added: “I thought, I’m going to restore people’s faith in humanity, bring a smile back to people’s faces and just give them a bit of hope.”

Although Mr Chapman believes the tree is not doing any harm, altering or adding anything which can damage the archaeology of a UNESCO World Heritage Site is against the law unless the Government grants consent.

The tree is set to be removed by the National Trust, which has said its staff are working with Mr Chapman to find a more suitable spot to replant the sapling.

A National Trust spokesperson said: “We understand the strength of feeling following the events at Sycamore Gap this week and are grateful for the many offers of support and good wishes we’ve received from near and far.

“It’s important for everyone to remember that the site is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and a globally important archaeological setting, with UNESCO World Heritage designation, and that altering or adding to it can damage the archaeology, and is unlawful without prior consent from Government.

“We urge anyone wanting to pay tribute to the Sycamore Gap tree to speak to the National Trust first. The public can leave pictures, poems and memories at The Sill: National Landscape Discovery Centre over the weekend.”

The spokesperson added the National Trust, Northumberland National Park, locals and others are making plans for the future of the site at Hadrian’s Wall.

They said: “We will inform people as soon as we know the best way forward. While regrettably we will be removing the sapling, we have spoken to the person who planted it, and are working with them to find an appropriate planting spot within the local area.”

A 16-year-old boy arrested on suspicion of criminal damage on Thursday in connection with the incident has since been bailed pending further enquiries.

Northumbria Police said a man in his 60s was arrested on Friday and was in custody being questioned by officers.

A police presence remained at the site on Friday with forensics officers taking measurements and samples from the remains and photographing the area.

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