Two men in their 30s were arrested and released on bail on Tuesday in connection with the felling of the Sycamore Gap tree, the latest development in the investigation into who cut down one of Britain’s most photographed trees, which Stood in a dip for two centuries. In Hadrian’s Wall.
According to Northumbria Police, the two additional arrests brought the total number of suspects to four. A 16-year-old boy and a 60-year-old farmer, arrested in September, were also out on bail.
The tree at Sycamore Gap, about 100 miles south-east of Edinburgh, was cut down during a 60 mph storm on the night of 27 and 28 September, in what police described as “a deliberate act of vandalism”. Reports of the destruction of the tree, which was featured in the 1991 film “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves”, caused an outpouring of emotion among both visitors to the north-east of England and international tourists.
The police investigation has been difficult because the crime took place in a remote, sparsely populated area, where there were no onlookers nearby to see the tree fall. It was also unclear what might have motivated someone to cut down the popular tree.
In Britain, police can only make an arrest if they have “reasonable grounds” to suspect someone of involvement in a crime. The farmer who was arrested and released in September, Walter Renwick, a former logger, had denied any responsibility even before his arrest, The Sun Tabloid is telling It was sad that the tree was cut down.
Detective Chief Inspector Rebecca Feeney-Menzies, of Northumbria Police, said police were following various leads to find out what happened and who was involved. One fact is clear from the beginning: cutting down a tree of this scale will require expertise, especially at night and during such a severe storm.
“The loss of Sycamore Gap has been deeply felt throughout the community, as well as in remote areas,” Inspector Feeney-Menzies said on Wednesday. “I hope this latest wave of arrests demonstrates how much work our dedicated specialist teams have done so far in what has been a very difficult and complex investigation.” He urged anyone with information to come forward.
The National Trust cut down the remaining part of the tree and removed it last month. The tree stood along a dip in Hadrian’s Wall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which marked the northernmost extent of the Roman Empire at its peak.