Friday 24, February 2012
Blue Peter garden uprooted to Salford
THE sun shone on Salford as Princess Anne joined TV stars to officially open the new Blue Peter garden at MediaCityUK.
The Princess Royal earned her Blue Peter badge by planting a tree and unveiling a plaque to mark the opening.
Presenters Helen Skelton and Barney Harwood (pictured) broadcast from the garden and interviewed the princess for a special edition of the classic children’s TV show.
The original garden, designed by veteran gardener Percy Thrower in 1974, has been brought up from London to join Blue Peter at its new home at the BBC studios in Salford.
Presenter Barney Harwood said: “Piece by piece, brick by brick, slab by slab the team have broken down the Blue Peter garden and rebuilt it like an amazingly, massive very heavy jigsaw.”
Many of the much-loved features from the
garden have also placed their roots up here.
Bec Greenwood the show's assistant producer said all the best-loved features of the garden have been moved, including a time capsule buried in 1998, the memorial statue of Blue Peter dog Petra, the sun dial, birdbath and the hand and paw prints of the presenters and pets.
The garden is now next to the MediaCityUK tram stop and forms part of the communal garden for all to enjoy.
Local schoolchildren watched as the garden was unveiled and even spoke to the princess and their favourite TV stars.
Deputy head teacher Andy Marchant from Wilbraham Primary School in Fallowfield said his year six pupils were really excited.
Recently returned from her Sport Relief South Pole Challenge, presenter Helen Skelton said: “The garden’s been such a long time coming, it feels like years. People care about the show and I’m just pleased people can finally come and appreciate the garden.”
It is only two months since Princess Anne was last at Salford Quays for The Royal Variety Performance at The Lowry.
Blue Peter editor, Tim Levell, said: “Princess Anne thought it was a great idea to bring the garden up here.
“She wanted to know about the flowers and to make sure that the tree was British. It is, it’s a silver birch.”
Princes Anne is the patron of the Jubilee Woods Project run by the Woodlands Trust, which aims to plant six million trees across the UK in 2012, to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee this year.
Steve Marsh from the Woodland Trust said: “We want to get everyone planting trees. We’ve got about 900,000 so far – and this one counts as one towards it!”
Tim Levell added : “It’s good because there’s a nice story to tell on the programme about the Jubilee Woods Project and kids can get involved.
"I think today’s gone fantastically.”
by Sian Davies and Anna Sharrock