In Pictures: Solitary tree at landmark Roman ruin became famous worldwide


The “deliberate felling” of the eponymous tree at Sycamore Gap at the remains of Hadrian’s Wall has robbed the people of Northumberland of a natural landmark with a world profile.

PA news agency photographer Owen Humphreys has been a regular visitor to the tree, which stood in isolation in a dip in the Roman fortifications that link the Irish and North seas.

Many visits were paid in the early hours as the dark skies and ancient terrain made it the ideal place to admire the night sky or the Northern Lights, with the tree the perfect focal point for professional or amateur snappers.

Sycamore Gap tree felled
People take an evening walk at Sycamore Gap in Northumberland (Tom White/PA)

Sycamore Gap
Rare noctilucent clouds appear over the famous Sycamore Gap tree (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Amid the ancient remnants of Hadrian’s border wall, it was a popular visiting spot.

With the Northern Lights often visible in the remote part of Northumberland, it would regularly return to the spotlight, with photographers such as Mr Humphreys sharing its attractions with a wider audience.

Sycamore Gap
Light shines through the tree (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Northumberland landmarks by night
The tree at Sycamore Gap, Northumberland, taken (clockwise from top left) in daylight, with noctilucent clouds, the Milky Way and the Northern Lights (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Sycamore Gap
Stars fill the night sky above Sycamore Gap (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Spring weather Mar 7th 2016
The Northern Lights work their magic (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Sycamore Gap tree felled
People look at the tree at Sycamore Gap, next to Hadrian’s Wall, which was ‘deliberately felled’, the Northumberland National Park Authority said (Owen Humphreys/PA)


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