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 says: “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.”
Of the 2,419 people who responded to the online survey, the majority (92%) said their gardens and outdoor spaces were ‘extremely important’ to them during lockdown in terms of health and wellbeing. Nearly as many (87%) said that a key benefit gained from access to their garden/outdoor space during lockdown was that ‘it helped to relieve stress’.
Every single one of the 35 respondents with balconies or window boxes, each of whom lived in an urban or suburban environment, said a key benefit was the reduction in stress
Of the 20 respondents with access only to a public outdoor space, 95% said that a key benefit was that ‘it helped to relieve stress’ (as opposed to 87% overall) and 78% said that a key benefit gained from access to their garden/outdoor space during lockdown was ‘It helped them appreciate nature’.