King receives Sycamore Gap tree seedlings

King Charles at the Chelsea Flower Show
King Charles has been given the first seedling from the felled Sycamore Gap tree [PA]

King Charles has been given the first seedling grown from the Sycamore Gap tree after it was illegally felled.

The tree, which stood next to Hadrian's Wall in Northumberland for about 200 years, was chopped down in September last year.

Once the seedling has matured into a sapling, it will be planted in Windsor Great Park.

King Charles hopes the wind in the park will allow the seeds to be "widely distributed", the Royal Family said.

Dame Judi Dench with the seedling
Dame Judi Dench placed the seedling from the Sycamore Gap tree at the Chelsea Flower Show [ Reuters]

A collection of small seedlings and buds from the 50ft (15m) tree were propagated by the National Trust at the charity's conservation centre in Devon.

King Charles is patron of the charity, which has so far bred more than 100 seedlings and more than 40 cuttings.

The first seedling will be looked after by horticulturalists until it is ready for planting.

"It is wonderful news that His Majesty will one day have the very first sapling grown from this iconic tree," said Hilary McGrady, director general of the National Trust.

"The new tree will be seen by many thousands each year and will be the first of many Sycamore Gap saplings planted at different places, in Northumberland and beyond."

She added: "These new green shoots are keeping the story of the Sycamore Gap alive and are serving as a reminder of the simple and much-needed hope, joy and respite that nature can bring."

The seedling was first seen by the public at the Chelsea Flower Show on 20 May, when Dame Judi Dench placed it in the Octavia Hill garden.

The National Trust gifted the King the seedling on 27 May, which is Celebration Day, a national day dedicated to remembering and celebrating people who are no longer with us.

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