Today feels like we are collectively writing an obituary to a dear departed old friend ruthlessly and spitefully taken from us too soon.  

It has been treated as an act of vandalism. But this is not graffiti that can be washed off or a smashed window that can be replaced. 

You cannot just grow back 300 years of Britain's most celebrated and historic trees. 

Hanoverian King George I may well have been on the throne when Northumberland's beloved Sycamore was a mere Sapling. 

"A fallen marytr slumped over Hadrian's Wall" was how one described it today. 

Think of the rich history, culture and heritage that has passed by in that time and today a major artery in Northumberland's timeline has been severed.

It feels like a pernicious act of wanton destruction and we are all of us asking the same simple question. 


The Sycamore Tree was an international icon a stout and proud talisman of 'England's Green and Pleasant land'

Over the centuries people have proposed there, had their ashes scattered there, had picnics under it. It's always been a haven for children and for families.

Now its gone. 

To local people it has served as stunning piece of living scenery. To visitors it lit up the landscape and to regular walkers it appeared on the horizon like a familiar friend. 

It has been a famous Hollywood prop and graced films and documentaries. Most famously appearing in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves starring Kevin Costner and Morgan Freeman. 

But today we are all shocked to the core

The national outpouring of anger, grief and sadness at this despicable act has been overwhelming.

A visibly shellshocked Hairy Biker Si King led the condemnation and lament. Like thousands of people who have taken to social media to vent their sheer horror and dismay the celebrity chef said he was just 'beyond words'

He said: "Well I hope whoever's done that has a conscience because you've just murdered a sentinel of time and elemental spirit of Northumberland.

Mayor Jamie Driscoll added: "People have had their ashes scattered there. People have proposed there. I’ve picnicked there with my wife and kids. It’s part of our collective soul."

Beyond the inevitable cacophony of calls for justice there is a stomach churning sense of sorrow and disbelief.

Northumberland feels so much sadder today as the nation laments the loss of a dear old friend senselessly taken and so much more than just another tree hewn to a stump.