Sycamore Gap: What's next for famous Robin Hood tree after being felled?

The famous tree at Sycamore's Gap, on Hadrian's Wall, in Northumberland, was found felled on Thursday morning. Credit: PA

Northumberland National Park is inviting people to celebrate Sycamore's Gap as a first step before it decides what it's future will be.

The famous tree in the gap, on Hadrian's Wall, in Northumberland, was found felled on Thursday morning.

A 16-year-old boy arrested on suspicion of criminal damage has been released on bail while investigations continue.

Decisions are yet to be made about what will happen next, with suggestions ranging from a memorial bench made from the wood to a life-size bronze replica to fill the gap at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hadrian's Wall.

On Friday, Tony Gates, the chief executive of Northumberland National Park, which manages the site, along with the National Trust, said: "Everyone is still coming to terms with exactly what has happened here and what we have lost.

"As we move on to what we do next I want to thank everyone for their very kind messages.

"By way of a first step, we've decided to open the temporary exhibition space the Sill National Landscape Discovery Centre to allow people to come along to celebrate Sycamore's Gap. It might seem strange but it's a special place."

Since the news broke on Thursday, people have been sharing their memories and photographs of the tree, while numerous fundraisers have been set up online.

Suggestions online range from a memorial bench made from the wood to a life-size bronze replica to fill the gap.

National Trust rangers were on the scene on Friday to gather sycamore seeds which can be propagated to grow future trees.

The Twice Brewed Inn pub, in nearby has offered a £1,500 bar tab reward for anyone providing information that leads to an arrest and conviction.

The pub has also created a fundraising page to celebrate the legacy of the tree.

Donations, which had raised more than £2,700 on Friday afternoon, will be used to support future projects that take place at the site and work carried out by the National Park.

A post on social media said: "We envision the creation of a lasting memorial—a place where future generations can come to learn about the tree's history, it's significance to our community, and the importance of preserving our natural treasures.

"A space where people can gather, reflect, and reconnect with nature—a place that embodies the spirit of our beloved tree."

New shoots are expected to grow from the tree itself but experts have warned it will never be the same again.

National Trust general manager, Andrew Poad, said the stump is healthy and staff might be able to coppice the tree.

Coppicing is a technique, dating from the Stone Age, which involves felling trees at their base to create a ‘stool’ where new shoots will grow.

Mr Poad told BBC Breakfast: "It's a very healthy tree, we can see that now, because of the condition of the stump, it may well regrow a coppice from the stump, and if we could nurture that then that might be one of the best outcomes, and then we keep the tree."

Rob Ternent, head gardener at The Alnwick Garden in Northumberland, said the tree will start growing again but 'won't ever be the same shape or as good of a tree as it was'.

"It's worth a try but I think livestock and wildlife will potentially damage it as well. It'll be very difficult to get it back to the original tree," Mr Ternent said. "The growing season's coming to an end now but by spring next year it will have some life in it. It'll probably be about eight foot tall, but it'll be lots of singular branches, more bushy.

"It was about 300 years old so it'll take a long time to get back to that size. It's a massive shame."

Only a stump remains of the famous Sycamore Gap tree that was one of the defining landmarks of the north-east region. Credit: ITV

The Sycamore Gap tree was made famous in a key scene in Kevin Costner's 1991 film Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves and is one of the most photographed trees in the country.

The National Trust confirmed their focus is on making the site safe.

A spokesperson for the trust said: "Currently, we are focussed on making the site safe, and helping staff and the community come to terms with the news. We will be working with Northumberland National Park, other partners and the local community to consider plans for the site and the tree in the future, and we will inform people as soon as we know.

“We're very grateful for all the offers of support we've received - from people in the North East and much further afield. It is clear this tree was special to many, many people.

"We can confirm that no appeals have been launched at this time. We'll also post any updates on our social media channels."

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