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UK Landscape Barometer records third consecutive confidence decrease

All statistics are based on those surveyed and compare June 2021 to June 2020, with the exception of confidence; confidence is compared at the time the survey was taken (August 2021) to the same time last year.

OVERALL PERFORMANCE year-on-year

The UK Landscape Barometer has reported that confidence has decreased for the third month in a row, now with only 31% feeling more confident. Unfortunately, this is a huge drop when compared to figures reported in May this year, where a staggering 92% of participants stated they were feeling more confident. It was after May that things appeared to deflate, and this could possibly be due to the ongoing supply shortage preventing many across the industry from commencing work.

Nationally, projects were up by 69% on average, and turnover also increased, standing at 77%. Conversion rates and enquires also experienced an increase, both rising by an average of 30%.

Despite COVID-19, the widespread material shortage, and difficulty finding qualified labour, figures are still positive and the majority are still experiencing increases.

Key highlights included:

  • Turnover in Scotland and the North was particularly high, with an average increase of 120%.
  • The greatest increase in turnover was seen by garden designers, 203%
  • Nurseries were the most confident sector
  • Design and build companies saw the largest increase in enquiries, rising by an average of 43%

SECTOR PERFORMACE year-on-year

Commercial landscaping

Turnover for commercial landscapers increased by 46% on average, enquiries 28%, and conversion rates, 30%. Projects increased by 36%, and 55% of participants were experiencing an increase in staff levels. It is great to see that over half of respondents have increased staff levels to cope with demand, though recruiting staff is still proving to be difficult. One participant who saw a decrease in their staff levels said: “Materials supply and cost increases are impacting us heavily. The complete lack of availability of subcontractors and staff is causing recruitment difficulties and therefore restriction on workload capability.”

Garden designers

Things are continuing to remain busy for the sector. After experiencing another positive month, garden designers saw the largest increase in turnover, at 203%. Enquiries rose by 25%, and 40% of respondents were feeling more confident when compared to last year.

One participant reflected on the difficulty in keeping up with demand, stating: “I have not been taking new work as I have so much work already – this is stated on my website and probably reduces the number of enquiries.”

Another said: “Mad rush is slowing, but I am still getting regular inquiries, when July/August is usually very quiet.”

Design and build

Turnover for design and build companies increased by 50% and enquires were also higher, with an average increase of 43%.

Difficulty finding skilled and/or qualified staff is appearing to be on-going problem for design and build companies. One participant commented: “The lack of regulation in the industry is seeping through the cracks, eventually it will come out and bite us.”

Nurseries

Turnover for nurseries increased by 46%, and quotes rose by 28%. It was certainly positive to see that 100% of nurseries stated that they were feeling more confident compared to this time last year.

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.

CLICK HERE TO READ LAST MONTH’S UK LANDSCAPE BAROMETER FINDINGS

 

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