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Britains Oldest Garden Magazine Set To Close

Last copy after over 100 years

The last copy will be available on 14th of October 2023 and will probably become a collector's item of some value. The news was broken to staff and contributors on 12th of September 2923. The editor Gary Coward-Williams said the magazine was no longer viable due to massive increases in the cost of paper and publishing is set against falling advertising revenue, a combination that cannot continue.

The late Peter Seabrook was a contributor for many years alongside other well know gardening names such as Alan Titchmarsh, who said he was sad that AG will be no more  as he had read it in his youth and had become a contributor after completing his training at Kew.

Writer and friend Val Bradley said Sad to see Future are finishing off Amateur Gardening next month after over 100 years. Generations of gardeners have learnt so much from publications such as this, but money comes first. They don't care about the customers.

From my personal view, so much of what is wrong in this country is due to increased costs brought on mainly by high energy costs. I do accept technology is moving on, and many gardeners now find answers to their problems online. I do have several issues though, especially that many older people are not able to access the internet or know how to find the information even if they are online. My other worry is that a lot of information out there is not accurate or verified as correct, and internet users could follow poor information or at the worst get scammed.

Latest good news

Amateur Gardening has been saved from cancellation after the brand’s acquisition by Kelsey Media from current owners Future Publishing.

The UK’s oldest gardening magazine announced on 11 September that it would be ending, with its final issue going out on 14 October. Editor Garry Coward-Williams had attributed the closure to the “ever-rising” costs of paper, print, and cover mounted packets of seeds. He concluded that “despite good news stand sales performance”, the title “could not survive”.

However, notification of change of publisher sent by distributor Marketforce, and seen by RN, stated that the title is now ‘not ceasing” but will be “moving to Kelsey Media from issue 42, on sale 14/11/2023.”

National Title File data suggests there will be still be some disruption for stores and readers. There will be no issues of the weekly magazine published from 15 October for one month. The on-sale period of the 14 October edition has been extended to run up until the launch of Kelsey’s first edition as publisher on 14 November.

The cover price is also to increase by nearly 50% from £2.20 to £3.50 and the frequency of publication is to be cut from weekly to fortnightly once it resumes print under Kelsey Media..

At its last ABC figures from 2016, Amateur Gardening sold 28,000 copies in total, including nearly 19,000 sold in stores.

Brexit struggles in sourcing and shipping seeds have not only added to the magazine’s costs, but also prevented cover mounts from being added to copies sold in Northern Ireland, which retailers claimed had dented demand outside the mainland.


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