One of Britain’s most famous trees has been cut down as vandals target Sycamore Gap at Hadrian’s Wall

The famous lone tree which stands at Sycamore Gap, along Hadrian's Wall, has been felled, apparently by vandals.

Reports spread quickly on Thursday morning after walkers discovered the 300-year-old old tree had been cut down overnight.

Local photographer Ian Sproat shared images via Instagram of the fallen tree.


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A post shared by Ian Sproat (@mje_photography_ne)

The famous tree is framed perfectly by the contours of the surrounding land, and images of the scene have been reproduced countless times.

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Country Life’s walking columnist Fiona Reynolds visited the area of Hadrian’s Wall around Sycamore Gap this summer, calling it ‘the highlight’ of her trip: ‘The tree, hundreds of years old, occupies a steep dip, perfectly symmetrical and beautifully placed, although whether by chance or on purpose we’ll never know.

Mr Sproat spoke to BBC Radio Newcastle about what he had witnessed at the scene.

‘It looked like a two-foot chainsaw has went through the tree from the south,’ he said.

‘A big part of the North East has now gone.’

The tree is one of the most famous in the world, appearing on countless posters, postcards and in film and television. Sycamore Gap even features in the Kevin Costner film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves — albeit in a sequence in which the hero us supposed to have been walking from the White Cliffs of Dover to Nottingham.

As the news spread, people shared memories and tributes to the tree on social media; we’ve collated a selection of some of them below.