Northumberland's Sycamore Gap tree inquiry continues as suspects remain on bail

Forensics examine the stump of the Sycamore Gap tree. Credit: NCJ Media

An investigation into the felling of the iconic Sycamore Gap tree is continuing after two suspects had their bail extended.

There was a national outcry in September last year when the much-loved, 200-year-old tree was found to have been cut down.

Police said the tree, which stood in Northumberland National Park, was suspected to have been felled in a deliberate act of vandalism and a number of arrests have been made.

Two men in their 30s, who were arrested on suspicion of criminal damage, have now had their bail extended.A 16-year-old boy and a man in his 60s who were arrested soon after the incident have been told they will face no further police action.

The tree at Sycamore Gap was cut down in September last year. Credit: PA

Meanwhile, work is underway to ensure the tree has a lasting legacy.

It has been announced that a section of the tree would soon go on display at The Sill in Northumberland National Park.

It has also been announced that “tiny” new shoots have started to grow from seedlings retrieved from the tree.The National Trust salvaged young twigs and seeds thrown to the ground when the tree toppled.

They were taken to a high-security greenhouse in Devon which guards genetic copies of some of the UK’s most valuable plants and trees.Though just a fenced-off stump remains at the gap in Hadrian’s Wall where the sycamore once stood, a new tree could eventually grow there.

However, if it does not, one of the shoots could replace the stump.

It will be another three years before horticulturists know if the stump is healthy enough to produce the next tree, while the seedlings from its ancestor are being cared for hundreds of miles away, any of which could potentially be the next Sycamore Gap tree.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...