The 300 year old tree has featured on countless photographs and in the film 'Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves'. 'I'm Robin of Loxley and this is my land and my tree,' he tells the Sherriff of Nottingham.
We feel a sense of stewardship for our trees.
He strives to get heritage status for trees, to protect them. He reminds us of tree-vandalism in Plymouth and Sheffield where protestors challenged the authorities for unjustified tree-felling. He speaks of development threats affecting trees and woods across the UK where new housing and leisure facilities are built. He says that new policies in 2018 helped reduce the direct loss of these habitats, encouraging developers to build around mature trees and incorporate them. 'Not just tearing them down then calling it Oakwood Road or something like that.' Like Sycamore RIse off Brigsteer Road, Kendal. It's an affront to the local community to fell trees indiscriminately and at scale, then call their development Sycamore Rise.
The shock and dismay of local people was shared 27 July 2023 at the latest swathe of unexplained tree-felling by Story Homes from the junction of Brigsteer Road to Stainbank Green. Sub-contractors with chain-saws arrived from out-of-area and spoke of ash die back. Not if you're felling scyamore trees. My images give only a hint of the extent of trees felled and show sycamore foliage. So, felling sycamore and calling it Sycamore Rise is more like a valedictory, farewell mature trees, their eco-systems and habitat. Now it's stark and bare of trees. Maybe Story Homes didn't realise they were a shelter-belt from the prevailing south-westerlies coming off Scout Scar.
Story Homes felled 3 trees illegally at The Ghyll on the day Putin invaded Ukraine. 100 trees were felled between The Ghyll and the entrance to Stainbank Green and their representative at a meeting at The Ghyll, May 2022, could give no reason.
' Why have you destroyed a wildlife corridor of 100 trees?' I asked.
'It still is a wildlife corridor' said a Story Homes representative.
'Not without trees,' I answered.
He doesn't understand what a wildlife corridor is.
Then this most recent felling in July 2023.
As for the youth who is thought to have felled the tree at Sycamore Gap, why did he do it? Did he have any idea of the notoriety which will accompany him for the rest of his life. He's sixteen. His action isn't unique but it hit the headlines, not least because his motive is incomprehensible.