Man pleads not guilty to cutting down one of Britain's most beloved trees

Graham also denied causing £1,144 worth of damage to Hadrian's Wall

London:

A 38-year-old man denied criminal damages on Wednesday after one of Britain's most beloved and photographed trees was found next to the UNESCO World Heritage Site Hadrian's Wall.

Daniel Graham pleaded not guilty to causing damage worth £622,191 ($786,657) to the plane tree at Sycamore Gap, which had stood in the Northumberland National Park for more than 200 years.

The tree, located in a dramatic dip in the landscape and featured in the 1991 film “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves,” was found felled last September, sparking national outrage.

Graham also denied causing £1,144 worth of damage to Hadrian's Wall, the ancient Roman fort that stretches 72 miles from north-west to north-east England.

He appeared before a court in Newcastle upon Tyne with Adam Carruthers, 31, who entered no pleas to the same charge. Both wore balaclavas to conceal their identities as they arrived and left the courtroom.

Both were released on unconditional bail until a further hearing on June 12.

The tree, a symbol of North East England, won the Woodland Trust's Tree of the Year in 2016 and has been a major attraction photographed by millions of visitors over the years.

It was found felled after a storm, with white paint spots on the stump, as if it had been neatly cut, AFP reporters on the scene said at the time.

Efforts are now being made to see if the tree can be grown back from the stump or saplings from the seeds.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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