A TEENAGER has been arrested after one of the UK's most iconic and best-loved trees was allegedly felled. 

The Sycamore Gap tree, which stood tall next to Hadrian's Wall in Northumberland, was discovered cut down on Thursday morning. 

Officers have now confirmed a 16-year-old boy is in custody and is assisting police with their enquiries. 

READ MORE: Northumberland reacts to loss of Hadrian's Wall Sycamore Gap

Superintendent Kevin Waring, of Northumbria Police, said: “This is a world-renowned landmark and the events of today have caused significant shock, sadness and anger throughout the local community and beyond.

Forestry Journal: The tree was 'deliberately felled' in what is thought to have been an act of vandalism

“An investigation was immediately launched following this vandalism, and this afternoon we have arrested one suspect in connection with our enquiries.

“Given our investigation remains at a very early stage, we are keeping an open mind.

“I am appealing to the public for information to assist us – if you have seen or heard anything suspicious that may be of interest to us, please let us know."

The tree was made famous when it appeared in Kevin Costner’s 1991 film Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves.

The National Trust said it was “shocked and saddened” to confirm that the “iconic” tree - voted the best in England in 2016 - had been cut down overnight after pictures emerged on Thursday morning of it lying on its side by the wall, which is a Unesco World Heritage site.

National Trust general manager Andrew Poad, said: “We are deeply shocked at what appears to be, an act of vandalism.

Forestry Journal: How the tree looked in its prime How the tree looked in its prime (Image: NQ)

“The tree has been an important and iconic feature in the landscape for nearly 200 years and means a lot to the local community and to anyone who has visited the site.”

The Northumberland National Park authority said: “(We) can confirm that sadly, the famous tree at Sycamore Gap has come down over night. We have reason to believe it has been deliberately felled."

John Parker, chief executive of the Arboricultural Association, told the Times earlier today: “It’s shocking. I’m at a tree conference and there were rumblings around the room when we heard the news."

This is a breaking news story. More follows.