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400 year old oak tree to be cut down as part of roadworks scheme

The 400 year old oak tree is to be cut down. Credit: ITV News Anglia

A 400 year old tree is to be cut down in Northamptonshire- despite thousands petitioning to save it.

The tree, known locally as the Three Oaks has been under threat from improvement works around the A45/A6 roundabout in Higham Ferrers. A £24 million upgrade of the busy Mill junction is being carried out.

Thousands of people have already signed a petition to save the Three Oaks.

However Highways England say experts have completed investigation works to see whether the tree could be safely retained but after studying the roots of the tree they have decided that it could be a danger if it's not removed.

How the junction will look when the roadworks are completed. Credit: Highways England

We understand how local people feel about the Three Oaks and have explored many different options looking for ways to safely retain it whilst enabling the vital improvements at this bottleneck junction to go ahead.

Unfortunately, after extensive investigations, the experts found that the road works would leave the tree unstable and in danger of falling down. Safety has to be the priority for Highways England so it is with heavy hearts we have decided to remove the Three Oaks.

Highways England only cuts back or fells trees when it is absolutely necessary to keep people safe or to allow us to improve journeys. Sadly that is the situation here.

– Highways England Project Manager Dean Hollowa

Highways England say discussions are under way to see if the wood from the Three Oaks could be used as carved park furniture/equipment or put to similar good use.

They have announced that up to 1,500 trees will also be planted as part of the scheme.