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UK Landscape Barometer records positive performance

February 2021 saw a dominantly high performance across all industry types, displaying no declines, according to our latest UK Landscape Barometer.

ONS recently released statistics stating that work in the construction industry saw an increase of 1.6% in February 2021, and our latest UK Landscape Barometer supports this.

Nationally, projects were up 61% on average and conversion rose by 35%.

OVERALL PERFORMANCE year-on-year

Each sector experienced an increase in turnover in February 2021. On average, turnover rose by 31%.

In addition, confidence has shown a continued steep increase since the beginning of this year.

Construction confidence graph

SECTOR PERFORMANCE year-on-year

Domestic landscaping

Domestic landscapers saw an increase in turnover of 16% on average, whilst enquiries increased by 30%. Projects increased by 21%, and conversion increased on average by 26%.

Commercial landscaping

Enquiries increased by an average of 26%, and projects rose by 34%. Turnover was up by 28%.

Garden designers

Garden designers had a very successful month. The sector saw the greatest increase in conversion, with a rise of 182%. The number of enquiries also increased by 99%.

Design and build

Turnover increased by an average of 46%, and the number of projects also increased by an average of 59%.

Nurseries

Nurseries had an increase in turnover by about 12%. Quotes increased by an average of 14%.

Soil suppliers

The volume of soil sold increased by 23% on average. Quotes increased by an average of 82%.

Uncertainty

Similar concerns were widely expressed by participants regarding the difficulty in keeping up with demand, high enquiry rates, and the current low stock levels.

One domestic landscaper said: “Our enquiries are up 50% but we do not have the capacity to take them on.”

Another said: “We have recently started charging for quotes as we are so busy. Our projects are lower, but we are working on bigger and more profitable projects.”

A further problem, felt particularly by the design and build industry, was the issue of needing to find more qualified staff to keep up with the fast pace.

One participant said: “Incoming requests for garden builds remain high, but we find it impossible to employ new qualified staff, and even reliable labourers with realistic expectations. Thus, we are turning down between one and three enquiries every day.”

Another said: “The sector is feeling very strong at the moment. It’s a shame that it is falling behind at enticing new people to work in the industry. I fear that this is only going to get worse unless something is done about it.”

High performance

Despite this concern and uncertainty, dealing with high demand is arguably a great challenge to have, even though it presents some difficulty.

It is positive to see how busy and in demand the industry is becoming again after a difficult past year. This all-around positive performance suggests improvement will continue through the next few months for the landscaping market.

If you would like the full report or would like to contribute to the UK Landscape Barometer moving forward, please send an email to Gemma Lloyd on [email protected] or call on 01903 777570.

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