Two men in their 30s have been arrested by detectives investigating the felling of the world-famous Sycamore Gap tree in Northumberland.
The monument, believed to be around 300 years old and which stood next to Hadrian’s Wall, was torn down during the night of September 27-28, in what police believe was a deliberate act of vandalism.
On Tuesday, Northumberland Police arrested two men in connection with the incident. They have since been released on bail while investigations continue.
These follow the earlier arrests of a 16-year-old man and a man in his 60s, in the days after the incident.
Detective Chief Inspector Rebecca Fenney-Menzies, of Northumbria Police, said: “The loss of Sycamore Gap has been deeply felt throughout the community and beyond.
“As a Force, we have seen many moving tributes from those who have detailed what this iconic milestone meant to them personally and to our region.
“We have been working tirelessly to identify those responsible and place them in police custody and we are committed to achieving justice.
“I hope this recent wave of arrests demonstrates how much work our dedicated specialist teams have done in what has, until now, been a very difficult and complex investigation.”
The 50ft tree was cared for by the Northumberland National Park Authority and the National Trust.
The park authority said the site was its “most photographed location” and in late 2016 it was crowned English Tree of the Year at the Woodland Trust Awards.
Historic England has also confirmed that part of Hadrian’s Wall, built between 122 and 130 AD, suffered «some damage» after the tree was felled.
The tree was removed from the site by crane and is now kept by the National Trust in a storage facility.
The tree’s seeds have been collected and are being cared for by the National Trust’s specialist propagators at its plant conservation centre.
Hairy Biker Si King, who grew up in County Durham, posted on social media after the tree was felled that a “sentinel of time and the elemental spirit of Northumberland” had been “killed”.