Police inspector gives cautious update on investigation into Sycamore Gap tree felling in Northumberland

Northumbria Police’s Neighbourhood Inspector for the Tynedale area has given a cautious update on the investigation into the felling of the Sycamore Gap tree.
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There was widepsread fury and sadness across Northumberland and beyond when the iconic tree was chopped down overnight in September.

Last week, the force confirmed that the probe into the suspected deliberate act of vandalism was continuing, while two suspects arrested on suspicion of criminal damage had their bail extended.

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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.

Sycamore Gap in Northumberland.Sycamore Gap in Northumberland.
Sycamore Gap in Northumberland.

On Tuesday, Tynedale Neighbourhood Inspector Kate Benson faced questions from councillors on policing in the area.

Cllr John Riddle, Conservative councillor for the Bellingham ward on Northumberland County Council, said: “A lot of resources were put into the Sycamore Gap felling. Are you confident about getting a result there?”

Insp Benson replied: “The investigation is ongoing. I’m hoping we can have answer to that soon.

“That is the best way I can answer that at the moment.”

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A section of the tree is set to go on display at The Sill in Northumberland National Park before the anniversary of the felling.

Furthermore, the National Trust, which owns the land on which the tree stood, salvaged young twigs and seeds thrown to the ground when the tree was felled.

They were in turn taken to a high-security greenhouse in Devon, which guards genetic copies of some of the UK’s most valuable plants and trees. It is also hoped that a new tree could eventually grow from the fenced off stump at the gap in Hadrian’s Wall.