Garden security tips that will grow on you

Image of garden shed with a heart frame on the back. Concept of garden security

Us Brits love our gardens. So it’s not surprising, then, that last year we spent a whopping £16 billion on plants, pots, furniture, tools and other items as a nation. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener, sun-junkie, or just a lover of nature, there’s nothing nicer than spending a few hours in your outdoor spaces.

Worryingly, though, statistics from the ONS suggest that intruders enjoy spending time in them too. In fact, according to crime figures, theft from UK gardens has increased by 23% since 2017*.

The good news is that there are plenty of simple things you can do to make sure your garden and belonging are protected. Here are our top tips on keeping your garden secure this summer:

Go back to basics

How you plan your garden can make a big difference to security. Fences and tall shrubs allow would-be intruders to move around unseen, even during the bright summer months. According to UK charity, Crimestoppers, hedges should be no more than 1.4 metres tall for this reason. Also, by choosing colourful flowers and bedding plants – think reds, yellows, and punchy purples – there will be no extra coverage for unwanted guests in dark clothing.

Get the edge over thieves

An automated gate can be the best way to secure your garden and the perimeter of your property, but if you have a wooden gate cover the cross-member with a panel so there is no foothold. For those of you with a wrought-iron gate, adding ornamental framework can make climbing difficult, even for the nimblest of intruders. Finally, loose gravel paths are a great addition for any security-minded gardener to consider; after all, have you ever managed to walk on one without making a noise?

Give your shed some TLC

Sheds are not the most secure buildings in the world; they tend to be made of wood and usually have single-glazed windows tacked-in with nails. That said, keeping your shed freshly painted with a product that incorporates protective qualities will help keep it clear of rot or woodworm – rotten panels make it easier for thieves to gain access to your shed. As an extra deterrent, why not paint your shed or out-buildings in bold colours so anyone in dark clothing will stand out a mile?

Tidy up after yourself

Many people fall into a false sense of security in their own garden, thinking that it’s safe to leave even expensive items, such as lawnmowers and bikes, outside and unsecured overnight. Instead, get into the habit of clearing your garden and locking valuables likes these away when you’ve finished with them.

Invest in decent locks

Cheap padlocks are a false economy and they’ll be no match for a determined intruder – or the (not so) Great British weather. Instead, get yourself a hardy, solid lock for the highest level of security. Weatherproof padlock provides excellent durability and have a laminated finish to protect against corrosion.

Consider alarming your shed

Fitting an alarm to your shed or outbuilding used to be a complicated undertaking, involving yards of cable and bulky sensors. However, thanks to the advent of wireless technology, adding your shed to a home security system has never been easier. A system such as the Yale Sync Smart Home Alarm features a 200m wireless range so it can easily be customised to arm your shed, while the standalone, battery-operated Yale Wireless Shed and Garage Alarm is a great budget option.

Have you got any tips for keeping your garden safe from intrusion? Let us know, using the hashtag #NHSM21

*ONS (May 2019)