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UK Landscape Barometer: March findings

All statistics are based on those surveyed and compare March 2022 to March 2021, with the exception of confidence; confidence is compared at the time of survey (May 2022) to the same time last year.

OVERALL PERFORMANCE year-on-year

Things are unpredictable, and anecdotal evidence suggests clients and staff are wearier than ever before due to feeling unstable by the “economic uncertainty.” The Russian-Ukraine war is having detrimental effects across Europe, and the cost of food, petrol, and day-to-day living is increasing immensely. Some commercial and design and build companies have managed to recruit more staff, and many respondents mentioned customers are wanting work done “as quickly as possible.”

UK Landscape Barometer key highlights included:

On average

  • Turnover increased by 21%
  • Enquiries increased by 25%
  • Projects increased by 5%
  • Conversion rates rose by 38%
  • Projects for design and build companies saw an increase of 19%
  • Turnover for domestic landscapers rose by 50%

Domestic landscaping

For domestic landscapers, turnover increased by 50%, and conversion rates increased by a significant 30%. One participant said: “We’re just feeling like everyone else in the industry – we’re troubled by rising prices and interest rates. We’re expecting a slow down for mid to late 2023.

The average lead time was five months.

Commercial landscaping

Commercial landscapers saw an average increase of 22% in their turnover, and enquiries rose by a significant 96%.

Projects also increased, by an average of 7%. One respondent said: “Fluctuation in material prices is still present and a risk to the business and entire industry.”

They continued: “Clients are focusing on procuring packages for project 1-2 years away in a bid to secure fixed prices.”

A strong 60% of participants mentioned they have also seen an increase in staff numbers this year.

Garden designers

Turnover increased by 13%, but projects and enquiries decreased by 13%, and 24% retrospectively. One participant said: “We’re experiencing a decrease in enquiries due to the cost of living increasing. More existing clients are coming back to us to try get prices down, and many are wanting work done as soon as possible as possible.”

Design and build

Design and build companies experienced a more positive month when compared to February’s data. Turnover increased by an average of 14%, and projects were up by 19% too.

Even though some participants have experienced a good month of work, the majority have noticed growing concern among customers regarding the cost of living increasing. One respondent said: “Clients are becoming increasingly cautious about costs and, in addition, material and labour costs are rising too. We are under a lot of pressure.”

Nurseries

Confidence saw the majority report that they are feeling less confident, which may come as no surprise due to the disappointing “cold and windy” weather experienced in some areas of the country. Customers are believed to be spending less due to “construction costing more than what they have budgeted”, and this could be an indication as to why 50% have experienced a decrease in quotes this month. Overall, nurseries saw an increase of 23% in turnover, and 13 % in quotes.

If you would like the full report or would like to contribute to the UK Landscape Barometer moving forward, please send an email to Nina Mason on [email protected] or call on 01903 777 593.

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