August 01, 2011 08:13 ET

Brits Spend GBP 5.2 Billion on Garden Improvements

- Brits spent GBP 5.2 billion on improving their garden in the last year

- 12 million Brits have started growing their own vegetables in the past year

- Garden upgrades give the UK property market a GBP 22 billion boost

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Aug. 1, 2011) - 20 per cent discount on Santander home insurance at

Forget home improvements – the latest obsession for British homeowners is garden improvements, according to new research from Santander Insurance, which reveals that Britons have collectively spent £5.2 billion sprucing up their gardens in the past year.

The study shows that the average Briton with outside space has spent £1,280 improving their garden area in the past year and estimates that these improvements have added an average of nearly £3,300 to the value of their home as a result.

The research by Santander Insurance reveals that 17 million (39 per cent) Brits have transformed the way they use their outdoor space in recent years. Of those who have adapted their gardens in the past year, more than a third (35 per cent) have adapted their gardens into a relaxation area, 11 per cent have made changes to create extra living space and six per cent have created a secure parking space.

Financial strain has also impacted the transformation of Britain's gardens with 4.3 million Britons creating vegetable patches in an attempt to save money in the past year alone. This is almost a two-fold increase on the number of Brits looking to re-create 'the good life' in their back gardens the previous year.

According to the research, Britain's 'must have' garden features include garden furniture, owned by 62 per cent of those with a garden, garden sheds (55 per cent), vegetable patches (28 per cent) and greenhouses (17 per cent). More than one in seven garden owners (15 per cent) has decking outside their home, one in 10 (10 per cent) has a fish pond, and almost three million (six per cent) Britons have garden gnomes on their lawn. Colin Greenhill, Director of Santander Insurance commented: "As the property market continues to be challenging, more and more people are choosing to invest in improvements to their current home rather than moving to a new property. Our research shows that Britons are seeking to maximise the value of their entire property by looking beyond interior home improvements and boosting the value of their property by improving the garden area.

"While spending money on garden improvements can certainly increase the overall value of the property, many garden features are valuable in their own right and don't benefit from the security that items kept inside the home do, so it's important to make sure they have adequate home insurance."

Most popular garden features:

Garden feature Percentage of garden owners who have this feature
Garden furniture 62%
Shed 55%
Vegetable patch 28%
Expensive trees or plants 17%
Greenhouse 17%
Statues/figurines 17%
Water feature 15%
Decking 15%
Play area/equipment 12%
Rock display 11%
Fish pond 10%
Permanent BBQ 9%
Trampoline 9%
Gnomes 6%
Summer house / gazebo 6%
Hot tub / jacuzzi 1%

Santander Insurance offers a range of home insurance products, which cover the contents of your home and garden including Choices, Options and Peace of Mind Plus. For information on Choices and Peace of Mind Plus, please ask in branch or telephone 0800 670 680. For Options, log on to and take advantage of the 20 per cent discount currently on offer.

The information contained in our press releases is intended solely for journalists and should not be used by consumers to make financial decisions.

Notes to Editors:

  1. Research of 2,000+ adults conducted by Opinium Research, 6th – 9th May 2011

About Us

Santander UK plc is a full-service retail and commercial bank providing services to 25 million customers in more than 1,400 branches and around 4,200 cash machines. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Banco Santander. It provides retail banking products such as Santander basic bank accounts.

Banco Santander (SAN.MC, STD.N, BNC.LN) is a retail and commercial bank, based in Spain, with a presence in 10 main markets. At the end of 2010, Santander was the largest bank in the euro zone and 10th in the world by market capitalization. Founded in 1857, Santander had at year-end EUR 1,362 billion in managed funds, more than 95 million customers, 14,082 branches – more than any other international bank – and 179,000 employees. It is the largest financial group in Spain and Latin America. Furthermore, it has relevant positions in the United Kingdom, Portugal, the U.S. northeast and, through its Santander Consumer Finance arm, in Germany and Poland. Santander registered €8,181 million in net attributable profit in 2010.

The press office operates from 8.00am to 6.00pm. Outside of these hours please call 0800 5877708.

Contact Information

  • Media Enquiries
    Lara Lipsey
    020 7756 4518

    Jonathan Akerman
    020 7756 4190