Tuesday, 15 Jun 2021

Sarah Ferguson notes valuable lesson her father taught her as urges public sign petition

Sarah Ferguson discusses the importance of mental health

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The Duchess of York said her father Major Ronald Ferguson had passed down to her his great love of the natural world. She said she felt “heartbroken” to hear about the plans to chop down the magnificent trees in the Hampshire village of Dummer. The local authority, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, has greenlighted the plans to level the oaks to reportedly make space for an Amazon warehouse at Oakdown Farm.

The mother-of-two spent her early years at the nearby Dummer Down Farm, where her father had lived since he was eight.

At the age of 15 her father divorced her mother Susan Ferguson, who moved out of the farmhouse.

Despite the family split, Sarah continued to live in the house with her dad.

Today, the farm is run by her brother Andrew Ferguson.

Sarah is now urging members of the public to sign a petition to save the trees which line the ancient road leading into Dummer.

She told Hello magazine: “My father taught me to love everything about the incredible world of nature, and particularly instilled a sense of awe at the magnificence and importance of trees in the landscape.

“I remember loving the oak trees in and around Dummer, where I grew up, including those that form an avenue on an old road into the village.”

She continued: “So I was at first heartbroken and then deeply angry to hear about plans to cut down the woodland corridor of 67 mature oaks in Dummer, to make way for an enormous warehouse.”

She also said the oaks had inspired one of her children’s storybooks, The Enchanted Oak Tree.

Sarah, 61, is facing a busy year ahead following the arrival of her first grandchild in February and the second one set to be born later this year.

Princess Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank welcomed little August in February.

Meanwhile Princess Beatrice and her husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi are expecting their first baby together in autumn.

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Last summer Sarah and her ex-husband Prince Andrew became step-grandparents to Edo’s son Wolfie.

The five-year-old is often pictured out in London with his father and step-mum Beatrice as they run errands.

Eugenie followed in her mother’s footsteps by choosing to give birth at the American-owned Portland Hospital.

Beatrice may also toe the line as the hospital is less exposed than St Mary’s in Paddington where the Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to her three children.

Last year as millions of Britons were sent into lockdown, Sarah launched a daily children’s storytime programme on her YouTube channel.

Eugenie and Beatrice have appeared on the platform to read some of their favourite childhood stories to the nation.

Sarah said: “It’s so exciting because I’m in my favourite place ever, ever, ever, and that’s with children and thinking of children.

“Thinking of all the children out there that just need a little bit of magic, and you’re not alone.”

Fergie and Friends has proved popular among youngsters and their parents who were forced to adapt to a homeschool regime when classrooms were shut last spring.

Sarah shoots the videos in the home she shares with Prince Andrew, Royal Lodge, which is set in the grounds of Windsor Castle.

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