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New National Garden Scheme report highlights the importance of gardens and outdoor spaces during lockdown 

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 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 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 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 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. 


Gardens and Coronavirus 2020 
The importance of garden outdoor spaces during lockdown 
Read and download the full report here:  



Virtual Garden Visits specifically related to health and wellbeing from which garden owner quotes are taken: 

Long Crendon, Bucks (group): 
Blockley, Gloucestershire (group): 
Warton, Lancashire (group): 
Algars Manor, Gloucestershire (family of GPs): 
Hambledon House, Hampshire (general overview of benefits of gardening and opening your garden):   

Garden Owner Case studies: 
Dave Darwent, Sheffield: “It came as a bit of a surprise that opening my garden is a kind of therapy for my mental wellbeing” 

Amanda Cooper, Oxfordshire: The sanctuary of my garden in lockdown  

All gardens and health related films: 

IMAGES: From the report can be found here:  


Hartley Hartley-Scarff
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