SPACE SAPLING LANDS AT BROGDALE COLLECTIONS
What must be one of the most famous saplings in the country has now ‘landed’ at
Collections in Faversham. The tiny sapling has been grown from a pip taken from Isaac Newton’s apple tree, which was blasted into space with British astronaut Tim Peake.
In 2015 apple pips from the iconic Newton tree were taken on the Principia Mission by British astronaut Tim Peake to the International Space Station. The pips then spent six months floating in micro gravity as part of the ‘Pips in Space’ project before returning to Earth in 2016.
On their return from space in 2016, the well-travelled pips went to Wakehurst, Kew’s wild botanic garden in Sussex and home to the Millennium Seed Bank, where they spent 90 days at 5°C to simulate the winter cold needed to break dormancy. In May 2017, they were warmed to 15°C and the young seedlings started to emerge.
Brogdale has been selected to provide a home for one of these special saplings, which was officially planted this week by Brogdale trustee Tom La Dell. He says: “We are over the moon to have custody of this historical piece of horticulture. It will be the focus of a new education area within Brogdale’s orchards, sharing the story of space travel, Isaac Newton, horticulture and the wonders of science with our visitors.”
Brogdale Collections is the home of the National Fruit Collection and works to provided access and education about the National Fruit Collection. Set in over 150 acres of farmland, it has over 4000 varieties of fruit.