Actor Brian Blessed believes another sapling could be planted near to the felled Sycamore Gap tree to give the stump some “company”.

The veteran star of stage and screen said it was “beyond comprehension” that the landmark tree could be deliberately cut down.

Blessed, a former president of the Council for National Parks, was speaking on the Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg programme on BBC One at the weekend. 

He played the part of Lord Locksley in the 1991 American film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, which featured shots of the famous sycamore on Hadrian’s Wall, in the Northumberland National Park.

Forestry Journal:

Blessed said he believed the felled tree was not dead and hoped something could grow in its place.

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He forecast: “It will survive and it will be very bushy.

“You know, give it company and plant another tree, a good 200 yards or 300 yards to keep it company.

“It will talk to it, it will help it."

Forestry Journal: Actor Brian Blessed, former president of the Council for National Parks, hopes the felled Sycamore

He said he was "heartbroken" when he discovered the “deeply honoured tree” had been felled, which he described as, “a wonderful sycamore.”

“They're wonderful, with their big leaves and someone has cut it down.

“People have gone there and it brought joy to them.

“People have left their ashes there when they've died, they've got married there, and all kinds of lovely events have taken place."

Read more: Man bailed over felling of landmark Sycamore Gap tree

The National Trust which maintains the site with Northumberland National Park authority, said it was considering plans for the site and the felled tree.

Trust general manager Andrew Poad has described the surviving stump as "healthy" and said it may be possible for new shoots to grow from the trunk's base.

A sycamore sapling stands near to the tree, which is protected from sheep in the area by a circular wall.

The National Trust has asked people not to visit the site while an assessment is made of the felled tree and to allow seeds and clippings to be taken.

Northumbria Police said a 60-year-old man arrested on Friday in connection with the felling of the tree was later released on bail. 

A 16-year-old male arrested on Thursday was also released on bail pending further inquiries.

This article originally appeared in our sister title, the Northern Echo