A former lumberjack who was arrested in connection with the felling of the beloved Sycamore Gap Tree has been bailed and declared his innocence as he returned home to a farm where police earlier found a large chainsaw.
Walter Renwick, 69, was seen back at Plankey Mill Farm after being taken into custody, with pictures and video showing him standing topless outside a caravan on the property.
He was bailed on Sunday afternoon and was driven back to his campervan where he declared his innocence, shouting: ‘I know I’m f****** innocent, right, and that’s all I need to know.’
Mr Renwick has vehemently denied being responsible for the downing of the 300-year-old tree and seemingly said the saw was proof that he was completely innocent.
‘My chainsaw’s down here by that barn door, but you can see that it hasn’t been used for ages,’ he said on Friday.
The power tool was found in an outhouse of the Northumberland farm, just eight miles from where Britain’s most famous tree stood before it was cruelly cut down.
Walter Renwick, 69, returned to Plankey Mill Farm today after being taken into custody, with pictures and video showing him standing topless outside a caravan on the property
Police were still present have Plankey Mill Farm in Northumberland taped off after they arrested a second man after the UK’s most famous tree was chopped down
Police search teams taking away a chainsaw in an evidence bag from a barn on Plankey Mill Farm in Northumberland
The iconic Sycamore Gap tree was felled overnight on Wednesday, sparking fury across Britain
Detectives have been working around the clock to find out who is behind the shocking felling of the beloved tree, which stood in a dip along Hadrian’s Wall.
Mr Renwick was arrested after the tree was reduced to a stump on Wednesday night, and officers were today pictured leaving him at the premises.
Specialist search teams descended on the property yesterday and police were still present today, with cordons seen sealing off parts of the farm.
Mr Renwick, who has lived on the farm his entire life, was evicted last week following a long-running dispute and now lives in a camper van nearby.
In a series of statements, he has strongly refuted that he was behind the vandalism of the nearby tree.
Reacting to social media gossip, he said: ‘The speculation is bloody ridiculous. I’ll tell you this much, I wouldn’t be so sad to do that.’
Mr Renwick said: ‘It was a lovely tree, an iconic tree, but I mean to go up there and cut that down, I’m not that stupid.’
He said his work as a lumberjack for 40 years was likely the reason for rife finger-pointing online.
Specialist search teams descended on the property yesterday and police were still present today
Police cordons were pictured sealing off sections of the Northumbria farm today
‘It makes it sound like me, doesn’t it, because it was a good cut,’ he said, referring to the culprit’s handiwork.
‘It was dark obviously but it was a lovely moonlit night… the cut was brilliant.
‘When I say brilliant, you can tell a good lumberjack by the way he cuts a tree down. I haven’t seen the cut obviously, but I have seen it on the computer.’
Northumbria Police announced on Friday that it had arrested a man in his 60s just hours after a 16-year-old boy was bailed out of custody under investigation in relation to the felling.
Walter Renwick (pictured at his home), 69, was recently evicted from the property
A full investigation was launched after the Sycamore Gap Tree next to Hadrian’s Wall, in Northumberland, was cut down
Now reduced to a stump, the 70ft sycamore was one of the world’s most photographed trees and was named Tree of the Year by the Woodland Trust in 2016.
It famously featured in the film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, starring Kevin Costner.
Part of the Hadrian’s Wall Unesco world heritage site, it has drawn walkers and visitors from all over the globe.
Northumbria Police have been contacted for comment.