UK police make second arrest over Sycamore Gap tree felling

LONDON (Reuters) – British police investigating the felling of the Sycamore Gap tree, a much-loved landmark in northern England whose dramatic silhouette featured in a Hollywood movie, have made a second arrest, they said on Friday.

The tree was cut down overnight between Wednesday and Thursday in what police believe was a deliberate act of vandalism.

Northumbria Police, who arrested a 16-year old male on Thursday, said a male in his 60s had also been arrested in connection with the incident and remains in custody.

The tree was set in a natural dip in the otherwise treeless, sweeping landscape alongside Hadrian’s Wall.

It was also known as the ‘Robin Hood Tree’ after featuring in the 1991 film “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves”.

Photographs showed the tree, estimated to be hundreds of years old and voted “English Tree of the Year” in 2016, lying on its side across the wall next to a freshly cut stump.

“The senseless destruction of what is undoubtedly a world-renowned landmark – and a local treasure – has quite rightly resulted in an outpour of shock, horror and anger throughout the North East and further afield,” Detective Chief Inspector Rebecca Fenney-Menzies of Northumbria Police said.

“I hope this second arrest demonstrates just how seriously we’re taking this situation.”

(Reporting by James Davey; editing by Jonathan Oatis)