Sycamore Gap tree: Giant chainsaw found as police investigate 300-year-old tree felling in England

A giant chainsaw has been found during a police investigation after the beloved 300-year-old Sycamore Gap tree was deliberately cut down last week.

Authorities discovered the chainsaw after a two-day search at the nearby Plankey Mill farm in Northumberland, UK, which sits 13km from the historic tree.

The machine, along with other items, were seen being carried away in clear evidence bags.

Lumberjack Walter Rendwick, 69, was arrested on Friday in relation to the crime, but vehemently denies having anything to do with it.

“You’ve got the wrong feller,” he told The Sun, hours before his arrest.

Mr Rendwick had been identified online by locals as a potential suspect.

“I am a former lumberjack and I have just been kicked off my property, so I can see why people have pointed the finger,” he continued.

“My brother came down to make sure I hadn’t been arrested as he had heard the rumours. It’s very sad. It’s an iconic tree.

“But it was the perfect night to do it. There was a full moon so it would have been well lit and the wind would have meant there was barely any sound.

“Trees have their own DNA and you can use the dust to track down which tree was felled, so it’ll be easy to find who did it.”

Mr Rendwick was ordered by the court to leave the farm where he ran a tourist campsite following a legal battle that was running for more than two years.

The pensioner was released on bail on Sunday as the police investigation continued.

A 16-year-old suspect has also been bailed.

The 21-metre tall iconic landmark located at Hadrian’s Wall in northeast England was found felled earlier this week, in a tragedy that has shocked the world.

The natural beauty was believed to be over 300-years-old and was one of the most photographed trees in the world, also made famous after appearing in the 1991 movie Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves starring Kevin Costner and Morgan Freeman.

Heartbroken locals were left devastated at the monumental loss, with debates now swirling over what to do next.

According to reports, the most likely next step for the cut down tree is that experts will try to regrow it, or a memorial of some kind will be made from the tree’s remains.

While some experts say it could be possible to regrow the tree, others want the downed timber to be transformed into a memorial.

National Trust manager Andrew Poad told BBC Breakfast that the stump was “healthy” and that they might be able to coppice the tree, which is where new shoots grow from the trunk’s base.

“It’s a very healthy tree, we can see that now,” he said.

“Because of the condition of the stump, it may well regrow a coppice from the stump, and if we could nurture that then that might be one of the best outcomes, and then we keep the tree.”

The felling of the tree shocked the world and left locals in the area reeling.

“There’s a real sense of sadness in the air,” said Helen-Ann Hartley, the bishop of Newcastle, who visited the site on Friday morning.

“It reminded me of the rawness of the landscape. It was just heartbreaking and almost unreal to see the tree felled.”

She added that it had “survived all sorts of storms and extremes of weather”, and had “a lot of life events” bound up in it.

Police are continuing to investigate and have urged anyone with information to come forward.

“The senseless destruction of what is undoubtedly a world-renowned landmark – and a local treasure – has quite rightly resulted in an outpour of shock, horror and anger throughout the northeast and farther afield,” CI Rebecca Fenney-Menzies, of Northumbria police, said.

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

“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 inquiries.”

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