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.

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.