A man is recovering in hospital tonight after suffering a fall while working in his shed in the Bay of Plenty.

The 57-year-old was at his rural property in Ruatoki when the accident happened about 3pm today.

Authorities say he was seriously injured after falling backwards while working on his lawnmower inside a shed.

St John staff were called to the scene before he was airlifted to Middlemore Hospital by the Waikato Westpac Rescue Helicopter's Waikato King Country chopper.

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The man is recovering at Middlemore's specialist spinal unit.