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Two men are accused of felling the famous 150-year-old tree at Hadrian’s Wall in England

Prosecutors in England say two men have been charged with felling the beloved 150-year-old Sycamore Gap tree that fell on Hadrian’s Wall

LONDON — Two men have been charged with felling the beloved 50-year-old Sycamore Gap tree that fell on Hadrian’s Wall in northern England last year, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Daniel Graham, 38, and Adam Carruthers, 31, were charged with causing criminal damage and damaging the wall built by Emperor Hadrian in 122 AD to guard the northwestern border of the Roman Empire.

They were ordered to appear at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court on May 15.

The majestic canopy of the plane tree between two hills made it a popular subject for landscape photographers. It became a destination on the Path of the Wall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, after it was featured in Kevin Costner’s 1991 film ‘Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves’.

The overnight logging caused widespread outrage as police tried to find the perpetrators behind what they called a deliberate act of vandalism.

Northumbria Police Commissioner Kevin Waring said it was “an incredibly sad day” when the tree was found. A hiker who was among the first to see it on the ground was shocked.

“It’s basically the iconic photo that everyone wants to see,” Alison Hawkins said at the time. “You can forgive nature for doing this, but you cannot forgive that.”

Graham and Carruthers were arrested in October and released on bail. It took authorities more than six months to file charges against them.

Det. Chief Inspector Rebecca Fenney said she recognized “the strength of feeling in the local community and beyond” but warned people against speculation or comments that could impact the criminal case.

The National Trust, which owns the land where the tree stood, said it will take up to three years to see if new growth will sprout from the plane tree’s stump.

The trust removed the tree and hoped that about a third of the seeds and cuttings collected could be planted later.