Monty Don says compulsory gardens would develop young people

Monty Don, presenter of the BBC programme Gardeners' World, has put forward his views that everyone in the UK should have access to a garden or allotment, especially young people between the crucial ages of 10 and 30.

The popular presenter told the Cheltenham Literature Festival that it was essential to introduce gardening to the younger generation, pointing out that there are not enough young people inspired by gardening: “It’s very easy to get people interested in primary school but by the time someone’s 13 or 14, they don’t want to be thought of as a kid,” he said.

“We have a huge drop-out rate at about the age of 10, and then they come back to it about the age of 30. There is a real gap.”

Monty Don said that he would like to see compulsory gardens or allotments provided to flats and houses, because it was important to give people “a stake in this land”, and that hands-on activity such as mowing the lawn, tending land and growing vegetables is what really gets people interested in gardening.

The presenter also advocated a sharing scheme “where people who can’t manage their garden, can’t manage all their garden or are simply happy to share it in some way could do so with people who register. It does happen where people dig up a garden, grow veg, they have all the vegetables they want and so does the household who owns the garden. Also the grass gets cut.”