Note: This article is from the Guardian.
The Blue Peter garden has been officially opened by the Princess Royal at the new northern base of the long running children’s television programme.
The famous garden is accessible to the public for the first time outside BBC Mediacity at Salford Quays, Greater Manchester. Previously, visitors were only able to see the garden at Television Centre in London as part of specially organised tours.
On Thursday, Princess Anne planted a tree and officially opened the garden in her role as patron of the Woodland Trust’s Jubilee Woods project.
The show’s garden have been familiar to generations of children, with the original garden designed by Percy Thrower behind the staff canteen at BBC Television Centre.
The sunken garden and ornamental fishpond has now been moved to the landscaped area at the Quays along with a bronze statue of Petra, the show’s
The feature includes the hand, foot and paw prints of presenters and animals appearing on the show in 1978 when the garden was created, 20 years after Blue Peter was first broadcast.
Tim Levell, editor of Blue Peter, said: “We’re really excited about being able to open up the garden so Blue Peter viewers can come along and visit it – we wanted to make it as accessible to the public as possible.”
In 1983, there was an outcry among children when the Blue Peter garden was targeted by vandals, who stamped on plants, poured oil into the pond and smashed the stonework.
Princess Anne opened the new garden at an event that is part of the Jubilee Woods Project, which aims to plant six million trees across the UK and involve millions of people in a year of tree-planting Jubilee celebrations.
Georgina McLeod, Jubilee Woods director at the Woodlands Trust, said: “We are absolutely delighted that the new Blue Peter garden will have a Jubilee tree planted in it, and we hope it will inspire children to plant trees now to celebrate The Queen’s Jubilee and plant more trees in the future.”
“Planting trees is a great way to celebrate the Jubilee but also it’s a chance to make your mark on Britain’s future. We can only make this exciting and ambitious project successful with everyone’s help to reach our six million tree target.”
Last June, Blue Peter broadcast its final show from London, before it moved to Salford, along with BBC Sport, TV’s Breakfast programme and Radio 5 live.
Blue Peter is the world’s longest-running children’s programme and was first broadcast in October 1958.
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