Safeguard your garden from thieves and vandals this summer

M&S Bank research reveals that a third (33 per cent) of those with a garden shed admit to leaving it unlocked, with nearly one in five (17 per cent) saying they never secure it, despite the contents of a typical shed being valued at £550 on average.

More than one in ten (15 per cent) of respondents revealed that their shed contained more than £1,000 worth of items such as gardening goods and equipment.

Nearly a third say either they or someone they know has fallen victim to theft or damage to items stored in their shed. Nearly half of shed owners with home insurance said items stored in their shed either weren’t covered by their home insurance, or they didn’t know if they were covered.


Don’t forget the garden

It isn’t just sheds that are targeted by thieves or vandals; more than one in ten UK adults (14 per cent) say either they and/or someone they know, has had their garden greenery damaged or stolen.

Despite the average garden containing £369 worth of plants, bushes, trees and shrubs, it’s perhaps surprising that more than half of garden owners didn’t know whether their garden is insured. Only 10 per cent were confident that their plants, bushes, shrubs and trees were covered under their home insurance.

Paul Stokes, head of products at M&S Bank, said: “People often invest significant time and money into their garden, and the value of items, whether in the shed or in the garden itself, can quickly mount up.

“That’s why it’s surprising that a significant proportion of homeowners still don’t know whether they have adequate cover for theft or damage to both the shed and garden, should the worst happen. As we head into spring, we would urge households to review what measures they may need to secure their garden, as well as what is included within their policy, to ensure they are covered.”


 Follow Paul’s tips on securing your garden this summer:

  • Fix a good quality lock or padlock on the door of the shed, as well as any garden gates
  • Fit locks to windows and ensure they are kept shut
  • When not in use, ensure the shed is locked, especially at night
  • Lock belongings in the shed overnight after use (i.e. barbecues, bicycles etc), items left in the garden may not be covered for theft
  • Don’t leave expensive items in direct view, where they can be seen by thieves. If possible, fit a blind over windows so that contents cannot be seen
  • Install automatic security lighting in the garden
  • A prickly hedge around the garden can help to deter intruders