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Photo story: ‘Desecration’

06 October 2023

The Bishop of Newcastle, Dr Helen-Ann Hartley, views the felled sycamore tree last Friday, which had famously stood in a dramatic dip in the landscape next to Hadrian’s Wall, in Northumberland, for 300 years, before it was cut down overnight on Wednesday of last week. Northumbria Police said this week that a man in his sixties had been arrested last Friday on suspicion of criminal damage, but had since been released on bail, pending further inquiries. A boy of 16 had been arrested the previous day, and was also released on bail. Dr Hartley told Radio 4’s Sunday programme: “I saw and felt there a real grief and sadness at what was such an iconic part of the landscape, so pointlessly and deliberately struck down. The tree had endured such extreme weathers up there, and people’s lives were bound up in it. . . There was a sense of desecration of a sacred space”

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