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Press release

Statement on the felling of the Sycamore Gap Tree

A sole hero tree stands between two green hills under a clear blue sky
The beloved Sycamore Gap Tree near Hadrian's Wall in Northumberland | © National Trust Images/John Millar

Our statement on the sad felling of the Sycamore Gap Tree at Hadrian's Wall in Northumberland.

Update 13 October 2023

The Sycamore Gap tree has now been carefully moved from Hadrian's Wall and safely stored. This was a complex and difficult operation, at a very sensitive site, and we are grateful to everyone who assisted with this work. We have retained the tree in large sections, which means we can keep all options open as to what it becomes in future.

We have been overwhelmed by the response to the felling of the tree over the past two weeks, and are grateful for the hundreds of ideas, offers of help and tributes we've received. It is clear this tree was special to many, many people. We have already begun discussions with stakeholders about the future of the tree, and we kindly ask people to bear with us while we consider the possibilities and find ways to involve the public. Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to get in touch.

Update 29 September 2023

We're very grateful for all the offers of support we've received - from people in the North East and much further afield. It is clear this tree was special to many, many people. Currently, we are focussed on making the site safe, and helping staff and the community come to terms with the news. We will be working with Northumberland National Park, other partners and the local community to consider plans for the site and the tree in the future, and we will inform people as soon as we know. We'll also post any updates on our social media channels.

Original Statement - 28 September 2023

We are shocked and saddened to confirm that the famous Sycamore Gap Tree, at the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hadrian's Wall and Housesteads Fort, has been felled overnight (27 September 2023).

The incident has been reported to the police.

Andrew Poad, General Manager said:

"We are deeply shocked at what appears to be an act of vandalism. The tree has been an important and iconic feature in the landscape for nearly 200 years and means a lot to the local community and to anyone who has visited the site."