Human Shrub bids to save Blue Peter garden

NOT content with just rescuing the roadside shrubberies and rosebeds of his hometown, Colchester's most mysterious gardener has set himself a greater challenge - to save the Blue Peter Garden.

Roddy Ashworth

NOT content with just rescuing the roadside shrubberies and rosebeds of his hometown, Colchester's most mysterious gardener has set himself a greater challenge - to save the Blue Peter Garden.

The Human Shrub, who has now become a national hero to his green-fingered fans, said last night he could not stand by as the small patch of land in West London was concreted over.

The future of the Blue Peter Garden, which was created at BBC TV Centre in the 1970s, has been thrown into doubt since it was revealed the children's programme would be relocating to Manchester from 2011.


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Blue Peter's move comes as the BBC plans to sell off its west London base and redeploy five major departments - Children's, Sport, New Media, Five Live and Research and Development - to MediaCity:UK in Salford.

Recent reports claimed that instead of a real garden, a “virtual” garden would be created to teach youngsters about horticulture, although the BBC has since denied this.

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Meanwhile, although BBC TV Centre itself has been certified as a Grade II listed building, its protected status does not cover the existing Blue Peter Garden.

Yesterday the anonymous Human Shrub, whose camouflaged figure was last week seen planting out a neglected council shrubbery in Hubert Road, Colchester, sent the EADT a message calling for readers to help save the small piece of land.

“The BBC Blue Peter garden has taught decades of children about the planet earth's eco system, about growing food and most importantly about how to produce flowers for my friends the Bees.

“The Blue Peter Garden is a sacred land which must be saved for the future. Why do humans only try and save human-made buildings when there are just as important lands to save?

“I initially heard that when the BBC moves out of Londinium to go up to the northern lands they were going to have a virtual garden.

“This is an absolutely sickening prospect and I can only imagine that the human who came up with this idea has been told off.

“Regardless of this, the sacred lands outside the BBC TV studios must be protected as an institution because it is the place where many humans first learnt how to grow things.”

He added: “The lands are also sacred burial grounds for George the tortoise who deserves not to have humans pouring concrete on him.”

The Human Shrub explained that he had tried to start a petition to save the garden on the Number 10 website but that it have been rejected as being too “frivolous”.

He said that instead he had started a Facebook page - “Support the Human Shrub's campaign to Save the Blue Peter Garden”.

Yesterday a spokeswoman for the BBC said: “We are not abolishing the Blue Peter Garden. We have no plans to get rid of it.

“There are no plans to have a virtual garden. The exact details haven't been worked out but it will be moved in 2011.”

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