'Devastated, in shock, bereft': North east reacts to felling of Sycamore Gap tree

  • Just some of the stunning photographs of Sycamore Gap sent to ITV Tyne Tees by viewers in recent months

People across the north east have been sharing their anger and sadness at the felling of the tree at Sycamore Gap in Northumberland.

Northumbria Police have confirmed they are investigating, believing the tree has been felled in a "deliberate act of vandalism".

The site on Hadrian's Wall holds a significant place in the hearts of many in the region and was also one of the most photographed trees in the British Isles.

Sycamore Gap is the name of a site along Hadrian's Wall where a single sycamore tree once stood. Credit: PA

For some, it holds memories of long walks in rural Northumberland - for others, it has played host to proposals and stargazing.

Guy Opperman, MP for Hexham, says he's in shock and disbelief at the loss of the tree.

"This is so much part of our landscape, it's part of our history, it's part of our culture - it's one of the most famous trees in the world. It's certainly the most famous sycamore tree in the world.

"For someone to do this - and yes, the Wall continues and the landscape continues and yes, trees fall in storms - but for someone to do this deliberately is beyond belief" he said.

'It's just beyond words', says MP for Hexham Guy Opperman

Northumbria's Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, said: "I'm devastated that the famous Sycamore is gone. That tree was ours. It was an iconic North East landmark standing tall in our beautiful Northumberland.

"I am incandescent that this looks like a deliberate act of vandalism. I’ll be raising this personally today.

"I know Northumbria Police are at the scene and officers will do their utmost to catch whoever is behind this. Terrible news."

A flower place at the tree. Credit: PA

Terry Deary, the North East author of Horrible Histories, said: "It's a personal tragedy, which is quite bizarre, but to me it feels personal.

"In this world of wars poverty and plague the destruction of a tree is not that significant, but I do feel a personal hurt."

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