A new report from the National Garden Scheme emphasises the vital role that gardens and outdoor spaces played – and continue to play – in the physical and mental health and wellbeing of the nation during the lockdown. Bringing together feedback from garden owners, viewers of their unique Virtual Garden Visits that aired throughout lockdown, and an online survey conducted in August, the National Garden Scheme report confirms that the power of gardens to do good has never been more important.
George Plumptre, Chief Executive of the National Garden Scheme said:
“Anecdotally, from the responses we received to our Virtual Garden Visits during the lockdown, we knew that gardens (real and virtual) were playing a significant and important role in people’s lives. In August, to back this up, we ran an online survey entitled ‘The importance of our gardens and outdoor spaces during lockdown’. Over 2,400 people responded giving us a set of key statistics which confirmed much of the feedback we had already established; that access to gardens and green spaces can play a vital role in our ability to cope in times of crisis.
“The report lays out our findings, the statistics along with some of the long-form stories that survey respondents shared with us, and the feedback from a selection of our own National Garden Scheme garden owners.”
2,419 people responded to the online survey
92% said their gardens and outdoor spaces were ‘extremely important’ to them during the lockdown in terms of health and wellbeing
87% said that a key benefit gained from access to their garden/outdoor space during lockdown was ‘It helped to relieve stress.’
100% of those with balconies or window boxes (35 respondents) said a key benefit was the reduction in stress – all of these respondents were within an urban or suburban environment
Of respondents, with access only to a public outdoor space (20 respondents) 95% said that a key benefit was that ‘It helped to relieve stress’ (as opposed to 87% overall)
78% said that a key benefit gained from access to their garden/outdoor space during lockdown was ‘It helped them appreciate nature’
69% said that a key benefit gained from access to their garden/outdoor space during lockdown was ‘It kept them fit and contributed positively to their physical fitness’
86% said they used their gardens more during the lockdown
77% used their gardens for relaxation
81% spent their time growing and propagating seeds
70% grew their own produce
Enjoying time to watch and encourage wildlife, connecting with neighbours ‘over the garden gate’, completing overdue garden projects and enjoying the sanctuary of their outdoor spaces were common themes in the long-form responses.