The UK Government have declared that Garden Centres are allowed to remain open during the latest lockdown measures, created to tackle the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. We have been classed as an ‘essential’ business and are therefore permitted to remain open during this time and therefore felt it was important to make you aware of why we feel the Government have come to this decision.

The mental and physical health benefits of gardening, gardens and plants are well-documented, and the results of many academic studies have shown a clear link between the two. The University of Exeter, for example found that people who spend time in the garden are significantly more likely to report general good health, higher psychological wellbeing and greater physical activity levels than those who do not. At a time when people are really struggling after months of anxiety and frustration, gardening and plants offer a real tonic and an activity which encourages them to stay at home.


  1. British growers are essential to our sector, 60% of UK-produced plants sold are through UK garden centres – meaning the British supply chain is hugely dependent on UK garden centres. This time of year is key for the sector as planting has started for the Spring 2021 season. Growers won’t progress their planting regimes with uncertainty in place. Any delay in preparation and planting for the next season will have a knock-on impact to whether certain plants will be available later this year, financially impacting those businesses and the industry’s ability to be an economic powerhouse for the UK.


  1. Keeps people at home 3 million new gardeners have taken up the hobby since lockdown. Allowing people to visit a garden centre during these restricted times means they have something to do at home. And gardening is not just for those with gardens, but for those with balconies and window boxes.


  1. January is a time for planning and preparation in our gardens. There are plenty of tasks which can be done to get ready for the Spring. Gardens and allotments will offer numerous activities for people looking for things to do and these activities will help boost their mood and their physical wellbeing.


  1. First-class social distancing. The open infrastructure of garden centres offers bigger premises, with outdoor aspects. When they reopened in May they invested and implemented the HTA’s Safe Trading Guidance – an enhanced version of what other retailer sectors were working to. This includes enhanced social distancing in spaces that provide easy opportunities to enforce.