After the Duchess of York campaigned for their preservation, historic trees that were to be felled to make way to a’massive warehouse’ have been saved. 

Sarah Ferguson expressed horror at the prospect of having to cut down dozens 130-year-old trees in an ancient woodland near her childhood home to make way for a huge warehouse.

According to the proposals, which had previously been approved, a beautiful section of Hampshire’s countryside would have been ‘brutally chop down’ to make room for a 220,000 metre distribution hub. This hub is believed to be used by Amazon.   

Sarah Ferguson said she was 'absolutely horrified' to discover that dozens of 130-year-old trees in an ancient woodland in Hampshire were to be felled to make way for an enormous warehouse

Sarah Ferguson stated that she was ‘absolutely horrified” to learn that dozens of 130 year-old trees from an ancient woodland in Hampshire were being felled in order to make room for a huge warehouse.

The avenue of 67 oak trees and 3 mature beech trees which line the old road into the village of Dummer near Basingstoke, Hampshire

The avenue of 67 oaks and 3 mature maple trees that line the old road leading to Dummer, Hampshire.

After Fergie made a passionate plea to save the trees, the local council reversed its original decision and 100,000 people signed a petition opposing it.

The village of Dummer was affected by the plans. This is where the 62 year-old Duchess was raised on a farm, and was taught by Ronald Ferguson to love the trees that were under threat.

The plans called for the destruction of 67 mature oaks and three Grade A mature beech tree trees, as well as 13 other oak trees. All of these trees support 2,300 species.

A birdseye view of the Oakwood Farm business units (circled) and surrounding land (outlined in red) which forms the planning proposal for a warehouse along the old road into Dummer, near Basingstoke, Hampshire

A birdseye view (circled) of Oakwood Farm’s business units and surrounding land (outlined red), which forms the planning application for a warehouse at the old Dummer Road, near Basingstoke in Hampshire

The Duchess Of York was a tireless advocate for the preservation of the trees. She was inspired to write her children’s book, “The Enchanted Oak Tree”, which was written to help children learn the magic of an ancient oak tree.

The Royal pleaded for the preservation of the trees and said that she had vivid and happy childhood memories of growing up in Dummer, near Basingstoke.

“I remember my dad telling me to be grateful for the beauty in our environment, a lesson I carried into adulthood. It was something I passed on to my daughters.

“One lesson that he taught me was to admire trees. To look up at their beauty and feel awed at their importance in the landscape.

“They are always to be loved and nurtured. We should be deeply grateful to them for their support of Mother Nature.

These trees inspired my children’s book The Enchanted Oak Tree (in memory of and in gratitude for my father, my oak has his big red bushy eyebrows), which was published last summer.

“The book was written to pass on some of the magic of an oak tree to the next generation. I was inspired by the oak trees I grew to love.

The planning application, which had previously been given the green light, would have seen dozens of oak trees 'brutally chopped down' for a 220,000 square metres, 23.5 metre-tall distribution hub - thought to be used by online giants Amazon

The original planning application had been approved. It would have seen dozens oak trees ‘brutally cut down’ to create a 220,000-square-metre distribution hub measuring 23.5 metres in height. This hub is expected to be used by Amazon and other online giants.

Sarah, Duchess of York's childhood home in Dummer, Hampshire, is surrounded by ancient oak trees which were at risk of being cut down under the planning proposals for a warehouse

Sarah, Duchess, of York’s childhood home, Dummer, Hampshire, is surrounded with ancient oak trees that were at risk of being felled by the plans for a warehouse.

Sarah Ferguson gave an impassioned plea to save the trees and 100,000 locals signed a petition opposing the plans

Sarah Ferguson made a passionate plea to save the trees. 100,000 people signed a petition opposing the plans.

“So I was absolutely horrified when I heard that Basingstoke Borough Council had approved a massive warehouse of 220,000 sq. m. It is slated to be occupied apparently by Amazon. This will result in these trees being brutally trimmed down.

Amazon did not confirm or deny that it was behind the controversial warehouse plan, but a spokesperson said that the company does NOT comment on speculation or rumours.

Historic trees have been saved after the Duchess of York campaigned to keep them

After the Duchess from York campaigned to save them, historic trees have been saved

The Duchess, a former wife of Prince Andrew, said: ‘I can’t bear the thought that anyone would consider it possible to chop down these incredible trees which have inspired me for many decades for storage space.

Newlands Property Developments submitted the plans. They were approved at a Basingstoke-Deane Borough Council meeting six mois ago.

The council rejected the plans this week because they felt the large-scale development would have a detrimental effect on the environment.

They also stated that the proposed development would adversely affect the green infrastructure strategy, biodiversity, and connectivity and that there was no compelling public need for it.

According to Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, the development would have prevented wildlife from moving between two sites in what is a wooded avenue that Fergie ‘remembers so well’.

The plans were rebuffed by scores of locals, politicians, as well as councillors from Basingstoke or Deane.

Six MPs, including Maria Miller from Basingstoke, called for the central government to ‘call-in’ the decision.