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One in eight UK households has had no access to a garden during lockdown, figures show

People from minority ethnic groups even less likely to have a private outdoor space 

Sarah Young
Thursday 14 May 2020 16:04 BST
Joggers and cyclists enjoy Hyde Park after exercise rules relaxed

One in eight households has had no access to a garden during the coronavirus lockdown, new figures show.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released the data after lockdown restrictions were eased in England to allow people to spend more time outside in public spaces.

The figures, based on data from Ordnance Survey and Natural England, show that in London 21 per cent of households have no access to private or shared gardens. However, they are the most likely in the country to live near a park.

More than a quarter of people (28 per cent) in the UK were found to live within a five-minute walk (300m) of a public park, while 72 per cent live fewer than 15 minutes away (900m).

This rises to 52 per cent and 95 per cent respectively when playing fields are included in the data.

The survey also highlighted a stark contrast between the level of access different ethnicities have to an outdoor space.

According to the ONS, people from minority ethnic groups are less likely to have access to a private garden. The data shows that black people are nearly four times as likely as white people to have no outdoor space at home, whether that be a private or shared garden, a patio or a balcony (37 per cent compared with 10 per cent).

Even when the data compared people of a similar age, social grade and living situation, those of black ethnicity were found to be 2.4 times less likely than those of white ethnicity to have a private garden.

Older people, who are being advised to stay at home as much as possible, were found to be the most likely to have access to a garden, with just eight per cent of over-65s living without outside space.

Parks and green spaces in England are expected to get busier following the relaxation of lockdown measures on Wednesday, allowing people to picnic and sunbathe as long as they observe social distancing.

The average park in Great Britain serves just under 2,000 people, the ONS said, with some in densely-populated areas catering for many more.

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