Blue Peter set for rooftop garden

A rooftop garden is being designed by Blue Peter gardener Chris Collins for the long-running children's programme's new base at Salford MediaCityUK.

Keith Beal, the director in charge of the move to Manchester, had planned a "virtual garden". But BBC Children's and BBC Learning communications head Claire Rainford said: "We always wanted a Blue Peter garden in our new home. The location will be on the roof of the new studio block.

"However, all plans are at a very early stage so unfortunately we don't have any pictures or designs at this stage." Plans are believed to include edibles growing, raised beds and a wildlife garden.

But the future of the existing garden, unveiled in 1974 and home to Percy Thrower's famous Italian sunken garden, is in doubt. Rainford said: "It will probably be bound up in what happens to BBC Television Centre."

The centre in west London has grade II listed status from English Heritage but the protection does not apply to the garden. It may be altered by a future owner after 2013. Salford-based Blue Peter will be broadcast from autumn.

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