Officers investigating the vandalism of an iconic Northumberland tree have this evening made a second arrest. 

A full investigation was launched after the Sycamore Gap Tree was felled overnight between Wednesday and Thursday (September 27 and 28) in what police believe was a deliberate act of vandalism.

A range of enquiries have been going on ever since as officers try to ascertain the full circumstances surrounding the damage and identify anyone involved.

This evening (Friday), officers have arrested a second male – in his 60s – in connection with the incident. He remains in police custody at this time and is assisting the force with enquiries.

A 16-year-old boy was yesterday arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage but has now been released on bail, pending further police enquiries. 

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Detective Chief Inspector Rebecca Fenney-Menzies, of Northumbria Police, said: “The senseless destruction of what is undoubtedly a world-renowned landmark – and a local treasure – has quite rightly resulted in an outpour shock, horror and anger throughout the North East and further afield.

“I hope this second arrest demonstrates just how seriously we’re taking this situation, and our ongoing commitment to find those responsible and bring them to justice.

“Although another arrest has been made, this investigation is still in the early stages, and we would continue to encourage any members of the public with information which may assist to get in touch.

“If you’ve seen or heard anything suspicious that may be of interest to us – I’d implore you to contact us.

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“I’d also like to remind the public that this remains a live investigation so, for that reason, please avoid any speculation both in the community and on social media.

“Any information – no matter how small or insignificant you think it may be – could prove absolutely crucial to our enquiries.”

A force spokesperson said: "Anyone with information is asked to contact police via the ‘Tell Us Something’ page of our website or by calling 101 quoting log NP-20230928-0295."