Research reveals people's passion for gardens

Article date: 18 June 2005

It’s official. British people are mad about their gardens.Research from Norwich Union Equity Release shows fewer than one in10 people (9%) could live without their garden. And if they wereforced to sacrifice a room or living space, most people wouldprefer to go without a spare bedroom, dining room or study ratherthan lose their garden.

The research shows that nearly 8 million people spend on averageat least an hour a day in their gardens with more than four out often (41%) people aged over 55 spending at least an hour ormore.

Shows like Ground Force have made garden makeovers more popularand the Norwich Union research found that more than half (55%) ofpeople from their twenties to retirement prefer a traditionalgarden with lawn and flowerbeds to decking or patios.

And when it came to deciding which makeover programme they wouldlike to take part in, almost half (47%) of people aged over 55 saidthey would want a Ground Force makeover. Fewer than a fifth (19%)said they would choose a Changing Rooms makeover and fewer than 4%would want a What Not to Wear style makeover from Trinny andSusannah.

Conservatories came top of the poll of popular gardenaccessories for over-55s with more than half of the vote, but a hottub would be the best addition for more than a fifth of peoplesurveyed. The most popular accessories were: conservatory (53%),water features (43%), shed (36%), outdoor heater (25%) and hot tub(22%).

The Norwich Union equity release survey also discovered thatpeople also like to use their gardens to watch wildlife (55%),entertain friends (47%), hold family parties (32%) and grow fruitand veg (27%).

Nigel Spencer, head of marketing at Norwich Union equityrelease, said: "Gardens are clearly still at the heart of Britishhomes, not least among the older generation, 51% of whom say theyare proud of their gardens and want them to look nice. Maintaininga beautiful garden can be a labour of love that takes up anenormous amount of time, effort and money.

"One of the reasons many retired people who live in large housesare reluctant to move to a smaller property is because theydon’t want to leave behind gardens that may have taken yearsto become established and mature."


Press office contacts:
David Gwyer 01904452828 Out of hours 07800 699508
James Evans 01904 452791 Out of hours 07800 699525

* Source: Consumer survey conducted for Norwich Union by Tickboxon 14-15 May 2005. 1,393 adults surveyed.

Notes to editors
About the Norwich Union Home Reversion Plan

A home reversion plan enables a homeowner to sell part, or all,of their home in return for a cash lump sum payment. Customersretain the right to continue living in their home for the rest oftheir life but when the home is sold, the provider receives thesame proportion of the sale proceeds as originally sold to them bythe homeowner. The Norwich Union Home Reversion Plan includes ahouse price inflation guarantee and inheritance protectionguarantee.

Lifetime mortgages give homeowners the chance to raise a cashlump sum or regular income by taking out a loan secured on theirhome. The interest due is rolled up over the life of the loan andis repaid, along with the original loan, when the plan ends. Thisnormally when the homeowner goes into long-term care or dies.

Full written terms and conditions are available on request.Norwich Union is the UK's largest insurer. It is the UK's largestprovider of life, pensions and investment products and one of theleading IFA providers. IFAs provide around 75% of the company'slong-term savings business in the UK.

  • Norwich Union has strategic alliances with building societiesand other leading UK brand names including Tesco PersonalFinance and The Royal Bank of Scotland Group. Norwich Union'snews releases and a selection of images are available fromAviva's internet press centre at
  • Norwich Union Equity Release Limited No 3286484. Registered at 2Rougier Street, York, YO90 1UU. Authorised and regulated by theFinancial Services Authority for lifetime mortgages. Homereversion plans are not regulated by the Financial ServicesAuthority.

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