UK’s Sycamore Gap tree mystery: Two men charged with criminal damage

London: Police have charged two men with criminal damage after one of Britain’s most photographed trees was cut down in the night last September – an act of vandalism that prompted a outpouring of national sadness.

The sycamore stood at the centre of a dramatic dip in the landscape alongside the historic Hadrian’s Wall in northern England, making it a popular spot for photographers, hikers and even marriage proposals or the scattering of ashes.

The “Sycamore Gap” tree, which the surrounding Northumberland National Park once rated as its most photographed spot, also featured in a 1991 Robin Hood film.

Police on Tuesday charged Daniel Graham, 38, and Adam Carruthers, 31, with criminal damage to the tree and Hadrian’s Wall, both of which belong to the National Trust, a heritage conservation charity in England.

The men, who were arrested last October and released on bail, will appear at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court on May 15.

The stump of the iconic tree remains at the site with a low fence around it, in the hope it will regrow in time.