THE Princess Royal planted a 'space sapling' during a visit to Jodrell Bank.

Her Royal Highness paid a visit to the iconic Cheshire landmark to celebrate it being awarded UNESCO World Heritage Status, back in 2019.

Director of Jodrell Bank Centre for Engagement, Professor Teresa Anderson, thanked Princess Anne for her visit as they discussed the decade-long process to achieve this status, with the site becoming the first research observatory to be recognised.

Professor Anderson said: “Her Royal Highness’ visit to Jodrell Bank has showcased what we do really well here.

“From engaging new audiences with science and heritage to introducing them to the remarkable home-grown achievements in astrophysics and space exploration.

“We are delighted to be able to celebrate our UNESCO inception with the Princess Royal and thank her for her continued support.”

Northwich Guardian: Princess Anne signs the visitors bookPrincess Anne signs the visitors book (Image: University of Manchester)

The Princess Royal was welcomed to the observatory by the University of Manchester’s vice-chancellor, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell.

Princess Anne was given an introduction to the telescope by the director of Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, Professor Mike Garrett, before having a go at operating the famous Lovell Telescope.

Her Royal Highness also recalled a previous visit to the observatory by The King, as Prince of Wales, back in 2003.

After signing the control room visitors book, Princess Anne then visited the First Light Pavilion which opened in 2022 and features a Space Dome and the award-winning ‘Story of Jodrell Bank’ permanent exhibition.

A royal visit wouldn’t be complete without the planting of a tree to mark the occasion.

The sapling apple tree planted in Jodrell Bank’s orchard was grown from a pip originating from the ‘Flower of Kent’ - the apple tree which is said to have inspired Sir Isaac Newton’s theory of gravity.

The pip was then taken on board the International Space Station as part of Astronaut Tim Peake’s mission in 2016, later becoming one of just eight 'space saplings' grown in the UK.

Northwich Guardian: The Princess Anne plants a tree to mark the occasion The Princess Anne plants a tree to mark the occasion (Image: University of Manchester)

Professor Dame Rothwell said: “We are honoured to welcome Her Royal Highness to Jodrell Bank Observatory.

“We celebrate this unique achievement at a very special moment for us all, as the University itself celebrates its bicentenary this year.

“At Jodrell, we’re surrounded by world-leading research, and those who strive to inspire the next generation of scientists.

“The recognition by UNESCO will only serve to cement Jodrell as a centre of excellence and inspiration to many.”