Only one in three people introduce themselves to new neighbours

And one in five only know their neighbours because they take in packages for them while they are out

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The Independent Online

Of the 3,000 people who took part in the study, one in four said they were ‘too busy’ to make friends, while 18 per cent never see their neighbours to say ‘hello’.

The research was commissioned by The Big Lunch, a Lottery-funded initiative encouraging neighbours to share a few hours of food, friendship and fun on Sunday 2 June.

Only one in three Brits bothers to introduce themselves to their neighbours when moving into a new home and one in five only know their neighbours because they take in packages for them when they are out.

Sir Tim Smit, Co-Founder of The Big Lunch, said: "There was a time when everyone was very friendly with the people living next door. But as time has gone on, this seems to be becoming rarer, and it’s a shame to see that there are many people who haven’t got the time or are too nervous to get to know their neighbours.

”If you get to know your neighbours, not only does it create a happier, safer environment to live in, but you will probably find they are happy to help you out with your pets or water your plants when you go on holiday. You never know, you might even end up with a new best friend, simply from knocking on your neighbour’s door to say hello."

The study found that one in four have no idea what their neighbours' names are, with 20 per cent saying they need to live somewhere for an average of seven months before saying hello for the first time.