The sycamore maple had grown for about 300 years next to Hadrian’s Wall, built by the Romans in the north of England.
The tree was cut down overnight in what police called a “deliberate act of vandalism”.
Police said they had arrested a 16-year old male in connection with the felling of the statuesque sycamore in northern England. The tree is set in a natural dip in the otherwise treeless, sweeping landscape alongside Hadrian’s Wall.
A world-renowned landmark
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.
“This is a world-renowned landmark and the events of today have caused significant shock, sadness and anger throughout the local community and beyond,” said Superintendent Kevin Waring, of Northumbria Police.
“An investigation was immediately launched following this vandalism, and this afternoon we have arrested one suspect in connection with our enquiries.”
The National Trust, who look after the site alongside Northumberland National Park, said it was “shocked and desperately saddened”.