LONDON (CNN) — A famous tree that has overlooked Hadrian’s Wall in Britain for more than 200 years has been “deliberately cut down” in what authorities have described as an “act of vandalism”.
Located in Northumberland National Park in northern England, Sycamore became famous to millions around the world when it appeared in Kevin Costner’s 1991 blockbuster film “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.”
The police said that a 16-year-old boy and a 60-year-old man have been arrested following the incident that allegedly took place on Thursday night.
The tree is located at what is known as “Sycamore Cape” on the historic Hadrian’s Wall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site built about 1,900 years ago to protect the far northwestern border of the Roman Empire.
The Sycamore Gap sycamore is considered one of the most photographed trees in England and was recognized as English Tree of the Year in 2016.
The National Trust charity, which manages the site, was “shocked and saddened” by the felling of the tree.
The National Trust’s North East CEO Andrew Bott said: “This tree has been an important and iconic feature of the landscape for nearly 200 years and means a lot to the local community and anyone who visits the site.”
Northumberland National Park Authority said it was now “working with relevant agencies and partners with an interest in this iconic North East landmark”.
The National Park urged visitors to stay away while security is restored at the site.
Police, who had previously said they were investigating what was believed to be a “deliberate act of vandalism”, said they had arrested a 16-year-old boy in connection with the incident.
“He remains in police custody at this time and is assisting officers with their enquiries,” Northumbria Police posted on X, adding that “the investigation is still at an early stage.”
A man in his 60s was later arrested. “We believe this second arrest demonstrates how seriously we are taking this situation and our commitment to finding those responsible and bringing them to justice,” police said on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Before the arrest, the police force described the tree as a “world famous landmark”.
“The atrocity has caused understandable shock and anger in the local community and beyond,” a statement from Northumbria Police read.
Superintendent Kevin Waring added: “It’s an incredibly sad day. This tree was an icon of the North East and was enjoyed by many who live in or visit the area.”
“Anyone responsible for this damage, which we believe was an act of deliberate vandalism, can expect swift and appropriate punishment.”
Editor’s note: This article has been updated with the latest information.