Dead rodents, retro cassette tapes and World War 2 gas masks are just some of the bizarre items that Brits are guilty of hoarding in their garden sheds, according to the annual Shed’onomic report.
The new research released by Cuprinol today reveals that the garden shed is worth over £8billion(1) to the British economy, with over 21million(2) people in the UK now owning a shed. The research forms part of the annual Shed’onomic report – an in-depth study of the nation’s shed behaviour, to mark the start of the annual ‘Shed of the Year’ competition, sponsored by Cuprinol.
The report also found that ‘Sheddies’ will spend nearly a year(3) in their sheds during their life, but that nearly three quarters of Brits (71 per cent) are hoarding useless items in sheds, with nearly a third (32 per cent) admitting their shed is so messy they can barely get through the door!
Whilst the latest Shed’onomic figures certainly supports the notion of Britain being a nation of shed lovers, it seems shed neglect is a problem sweeping the nation and endangering our garden staple.
Given this, Cuprinol is urging sheddies to clear out the junk and cheer up their sheds in to a garden sanctuary and enter it in the Shed of the Year competition. The best sheds of this year will also feature in the second series of ‘Amazing Spaces Shed of the Year’, produced by Plum Pictures, airing on Channel 4 in the summer. Following its success last year, this year’s show will feature an extra episode.
However, it’s not all junk that we are storing, the shed has really become an extension of the home with the average shed-owner filling their shed with contents worth over £458. 32 per cent of Brits also have electricity, 41 per cent have heating and lighting in their shed allowing them to house expensive game consoles (6 per cent), TVs (7 per cent), a sofa (5 per cent) and 3 per cent even have a sunbed.
And it’s no wonder we’re investing time and money in our sheds, as 5 per cent of Brits admit to using it to partake in sexual activities, while 12 per cent of Brits use their shed to get away from their partner and 9 per cent revealed it’s the preferred place to make secret phone calls (9 per cent). Most Brits, 30 per cent, will also use the shed to hide items from their partner, including things like presents.
Jane Yelloly, Cuprinol Senior Brand Manager, comments:
“It’s clear from this year’s report that the nation are still fanatical about their sheds. Both ownership and value figures are up on last year, which is great for the annual Shed of the Year competition, which keeps growing in popularity year on year. We really do hope it will inspire those who are hoarding useless items to clear out their sheds and show them some love.
“Whatever you use your shed for, the annual Shed of the Year competition celebrates the best of British sheds and Cuprinol are proud to be the official sponsors for the fourth year running. If you think your shed deserves the worthy title, make sure you enter via www.readersheds.co.uk from now until 7th April.”
Some examples of the great entries this year
The shed of the Year competition sponsored by Cuprinol, is the brainchild of shed-fanatic Andrew (Uncle Wilco) Wilcox, who launched the nationwide competition eight years ago to celebrate the best of British sheds.
Andrew (Uncle Wilco) Wilcox said:
“Since launching the competition I’ve certainly seen a trend towards people viewing their garden shed as an extension of the home. We’ve had some brilliant winners over the past few years, from a Roman Temple shed and Pirate shed, to pub and music themed sheds. With the TV series launching last year it’s great to see the great British shed getting the recognition it deserves.”
Last year’s winner was Joel Bird from London for his Allotment Roof Shed – Built from scratch using recycled materials and used to grow an array of vegetables. Eco-friendly lights, powered by a solar panel, are used to light the inside and when winter sets in, a wood burner keeps the fire alive and heats the shed without the need of a gas supply or radiator – proving its eco-friendly credentials.
- How can sheddies enter their sheds?
Sheddies have until 7th April to enter their sheds, so if you think your shed has what it takes to be crowned the Shed of the Year 2015, you can enter it via www.readersheds.co.uk and you may find yourself and your shed appearing on this year’s TV show.
- How can people vote for their favourite and when are the winners announced?
This year, myself, Amazing Spaces presenter George Clarke and his team and last year’s winner Joel Bird will decide the shortlisted sheds. This will consist of the top four/five sheds in each category which be announced in May when public voting opens for the Great British public to decide the winning shed in each category.
- What is the prize for the best shed?
As well as the prestigious title of Shed of the Year, the winner will receive £1,000 from sponsors Cuprinol plus an additional £100 worth of Cuprinol products, a winner’s plaque and a crown for their shed.
Top five useless items kept in sheds:
- Old tools (77 per cent)
- Rusty bikes (39 per cent)
- Old house furniture (34 per cent)
- Broken deck chairs (34 per cent)
- Old sports gear (33 per cent)
Most unusual items people admitted to having in their sheds:
- Dead rodents
- Relatives ashes
- Ex-husband’s old footwear
- Old bird food
- A stuffed owl
- Punctured paddling pools
- False teeth
- School memorabilia
- Hamster cages
- Cassette tapes
(1)Based on Shedonomic research showing the average cost of a shed (£316.05) plus the average cost of doing up a shed (£67.95) (which equals £384) multiplied by the estimated number of sheds in the UK (3)
(2)The UK adult population is 64,100,000, according to the most recent figures provided by the Office of National Statistics and the average household has two adults. 21,153,000 is an estimation based on 66 per cent of the total UK adult population owning a shed and each shed being owned by an average household of two people
(3) Based on Shedonomic research showing Brits spend an average of 1.7 hours per week or 3.75 days per year in their shed, multiplied the average adult life expectancy of 79.5 years – 18 for children)