Blue Peter garden to be publicly accessible after move to north

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Features from the BBC’s Blue Peter garden, including the pond and Petra statue, are nearly ready to be moved to a new location in Salford that will be open to the public.

Viewers have seen the garden of the long-running children’s show develop over the decades since it was created at the BBC’s west London’s Television Centre in 1974.

But with the programme’s move to a new home in Salford, it will become accessible to visitors.

The Italian sunken garden and fish pond, designed by the late Percy Thrower in 1978, will be among the items bring brought north.

Also included are the hand, foot and paw prints of regular presenters and pets on the show from when the garden was first unveiled.

They were Lesley Judd, John Noakes, Simon Groom, Shep the border collie, cats Jack and Jill, Goldie the golden retriever and Freda the tortoise.

The bronze statue of dog Petra – the show’s first pet – will also be moved to the landscaped area outside Dock House at the BBC’s new Media City premises.

Designed by show gardener Chris Collins, the area will still be used for the programme, which has now moved to digital channel CBBC but is repeated on BBC1.

A sculpture of Mabel the dog and a Blue Peter ship logo will go into the reception area rather than outdoors.

Blue Peter editor Tim Levell 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.

“People from seven to 70 ask about the garden and by placing it in the MediaCityUK piazza, members of the public can enjoy it and see first-hand Blue Peter memorabilia such as the Petra statue.

“Having filmed in the piazza and gardens recently, we know just how well these areas work for the show.”

At one stage there had been talk of putting the garden on the roof of one of the Salford buildings.

The national was outraged when the garden was vandalised in 1983 with intruders smashing ornaments and pouring oil into the pond, killing some of the fish.