Authorities in the north of England say a 16-year-old teenager has been arrested and accused of cutting down the iconic 300-year-old Sycamore Gap tree made famous in a film about Robin Hood and located next to Hadrian's Wall in Northumberland.
Police say the legendary tree was "deliberately felled" and people in the area have been asked to stay away during the investigation.
Officials with the Northumberland National Park Authority said they had struggled to "see the logic" in cutting the historic tree down. It was made famous when it appeared in the film "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves," starring Kevin Costner.
Police said they immediately launched an investigation after discovering the tree was cut down, calling it "vandalism."
Kevin Waring of Northumbria police called the tree "world-renowned" and said "the events of today have caused significant shock, sadness and anger throughout the local community and beyond."
The sycamore tree, believed to be hundreds of years old, was considered to be an important feature of the landscape of the area. Police were still considering exactly what criminal offenses had been committed.
The tree was awarded Tree of the Year in 2016, the BBC reported. It notably grew inside of a natural landscape dip. The local tourism industry was shocked and saddened by the news, with one business owner in the area calling the tree an "emblem."
"It's a terrible, terrible day for the North East. I'm devastated," Anna Charlton told the BBC.
Waring told the Guardian, "Given our investigation remains at a very early stage, we are keeping an open mind. I am appealing to the public for information to assist us. If you have seen or heard anything suspicious that may be of interest to us, please let us know."
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