The BBC has been accused of sensationalising allotment disputes after a 55-minute fly-on-the-wall documentary that “dished the dirt” on plot battles.

BBC1’s Allotment Wars, filmed over seven months, attracted 2.49million viewers on 22 January. 

It focused on allotment civil wars, prize vegetables being stolen and sheds ransacked, as well as the politics of people with “too much time on their hands”.

“We are disappointed but not surprised,” said Georgie Willock, spokeswoman for the National Allotment Society.

“It was not representative of allotments across the UK and focused on a small section of society. It’s a shame that programme-makers didn’t work harder to balance their stories.”

There are 330,000 plots in the UK and the Society represents 120,000 plot-holders. Its in-house lawyer deals with up to 300 enquiries per month but less than half are disputes. Most are swiftly resolved.

Georgie added: “I think most people will have seen the programme for what it is. True gardeners will ignore it.”

The show sparked a debate among gardeners on Twitter.

One Twitter fan using the name ‘Life on Pig Row’ tweeted: “Allotment Wars was utter tripe – a poorly-balanced documentary that did not tell a balanced story.”

The comment was echoed by ‘Allotment Gardener’ who tweeted: “What a shockingly poor programme. There are 330,000 plots and [we get] half a dozen examples of this c**p.”

Twitter user ‘Grumpy Allotment’ quipped: “It might lessen the queues for allotments though!”

Another gardener summed-up: “Anyone put off allotments by the BBC’s Allotment Wars – don’t be. It’s a great hobby.”