POLITICAL figures reacted to the news that part of a 'much-loved landmark' will be displayed later this year.

Northumberland National Park announced in a statement on March 1 that the largest part of the Sycamore Gap stump, which was illegally felled last year, will be put on display at The Sill: National Landscape Discovery Centre by September 2024.

The National Trust and Northumberland National Park Authority have collaborated with Historic England and The Hadrian’s Wall Partnership to ensure a fitting legacy for both nature and people, following the vandalism of the tree.

Hexham Courant: The spot where Sycamore Gap stood on Hadrian's WallThe spot where Sycamore Gap stood on Hadrian's Wall (Image: Kristen McCluskie/Northumberland National Park)

READ MORE: Overview: What happened to the Northumberland Sycamore Gap Tree?

Chief executive officer of Northumberland National Park Authority, Tony Gates, said: “The felling of the Sycamore Gap tree has shown just how much nature and landscape mean to people, to their very wellbeing.  

Hexham Courant: Close up of the stump of the Sycamore Gap treeClose up of the stump of the Sycamore Gap tree (Image: Kristen McCluskie/Northumberland National Park)

"As stewards of the legacy of Sycamore Gap, the partners have been humbled by the outpouring of love and emotion for the tree. We understand the diversity of opinions surrounding a future legacy and are committed to navigating this journey with the utmost care and respect. We are grateful for everyone’s patience and understanding.  

"We are determined to honour the spirit of Sycamore Gap through opportunities to connect with the tree, and to create a legacy for both people and nature.” 

Hexham Courant: View of Sycamore Gap from north of Hadrian's WallView of Sycamore Gap from north of Hadrian's Wall (Image: Kristen McCluskie/Northumberland National Park)

The organisations have chosen three themes to mark the tree's legacy, including helping nature to thrive, providing a space for reflection and working with artists to commemorate Sycamore Gap.

Guy Opperman, Member of Parliament for Hexham, said: "Sycamore Gap was a beloved icon, not just locally in Northumberland, but all over the world. 

"I have been working closely with the National Park, the National Trust, and Ministers in Westminster, and I am pleased that local people will have the opportunity to see it on display at The Sill. 

"Almost all of us will have visited the Sycamore Gap with friends and family, and although it is gone as we knew it, those special memories will be remembered and cherished for generations to come."

Derek Kennedy, mayor of Hexham, said: "It's been a tragedy, the Sycamore Gap story, but I think it's the only thing you can do of any positive nature, to retain a piece of the Sycamore Gap stump for public consumption. It's been an icon for Hadrian's Wall for so many years. It started in the movie Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves so it means a lot to everybody, people still talk about it." 

Suzanne Fairless-Aitken, councillor for Hexham East, said: "Now that the initial anger has subsided it’s good to be able to memorialise that tragedy, and thanks to the National Park and National Trust we now have somewhere to go to pay respects to this titan of the Northumbrian landscape, and I will definitely be making a pilgrimage there to see it this spring – grabbing some coffee and cake at The Sill at the same time."

Angie Scott, Labour councillor for Prudhoe North, said: “The Sycamore Gap tree was a much-loved landmark for many people in the North East and further afield. We are all still traumatised by its felling. It is very good news that the felled tree will be on public display for people to enjoy. I look forward to visiting along with my friends and family."

County Cllr Gordon Stewart, cabinet member for looking after our communities, said: "This criminal act shook many people locally and throughout the world. I am pleased that efforts are being made to keep this iconic tree in the thoughts of people and I would ask that if anyone has information regarding the offenders to contact the police as soon as possible."

Police are still investigating the crime and ask the public to avoid speculation on social media.