I ALMOST wept on learning that the iconic 300-year-old Sycamore Gap Tree, that has awed and entranced countless visitors to Hadrian’s Wall and was renowned around the world, was felled by some mindless vandal(s) in the early hours of Thursday morning.

If a 16-year-old boy arrested in connection with this appalling crime is found guilty, he should be named, shamed, given a custodial sentence and a hefty fine – the latter to be paid by his parents. Why should the identities of teenage criminals be withheld from the public?

But I suppose we should not be surprised by this deliberate destruction of a national treasure, given the example set by the government, whose obsession with HS2 has resulted in hundreds of crimes of state-sponsored environmental vandalism, including the bulldozing of almost 40 hectares of ancient woodlands.

And we had the gall to condemn the Taliban for deliberately destroying Afghanistan’s 7th century Buddhas of Bamiyan?


Norwich Avenue West, Bournemouth