Herefordshire TV presenter Monty Don has hit out at a section of viewers of BBC favourite Gardeners' World, labelling them "gardening mafia".

The broadcaster, who has presented the show since 2003 from the garden of his house at Longmeadow, near Leominster, said there was a small section of viewers who see the programme as a chance to prove themselves right, and show displeasure when anything differs from their own views.

He also said that the show had looked to placate these viewers over the years, but that this approach was set to change, with the BBC looking to attract a younger audience.


Writing in Gardeners' World magazine, Mr Don said: "There is a small but vociferous part of the audience who see Gardeners’ World as a chance to both tick the boxes of their own horticultural knowledge and to loudly disapprove if anything is shown or done in a way that differs from their own.

"We used to be self-conscious about placating this 'gardening mafia', but not any more.

"They are welcome, but Gardeners’ World is not aimed exclusively at or for them."


He added that it was the show's job to inspire the next generation of gardeners.

He said: "I see it as my own mission to inspire and encourage those starting out on the rich experience of making a garden or growing things.

"If Gardeners' World can help shape, inspire and inform your future rather than shoring up your past, then we are hitting the right mark."