Gardeners in Shropshire are facing a new threat as thieves are becoming more brazen than ever when it comes to targeting outdoor spaces.
Research has shown garden thefts are on the rise with over 2.5 million UK households becoming the victim of green-fingered thieves at least once.
And Dave Williams, from Henshalls Insurance Brokers in Newport and Shrewsbury, said the thefts were even more surprising given what was being stolen.
“It’s not just obvious items like garden machinery such as lawn mowers or strimmers that are being targeted – thieves are even digging up entire plants, shrubs and trees, or making off with hanging baskets.
“They’ve also resorted to taking turf from people’s lawns, as well as garden furniture and pots, chimeneas, and Koi Carp from garden ponds.”
Mr Williams said the increase in thefts had coincided with the latest trend for people to invest more time and money in their outdoor spaces.
“The average cost of a garden theft has risen by 48%, with an average claim now standing at around £208 – this means over £500 million worth of garden items are at risk across the UK.
“But despite such shocking figures, over 75% of adults didn’t claim on their home insurance for garden items stolen – and even worse, 5% had no home insurance in place at all.”
Mr Williams said it was vital that homeowners didn’t put their garden items at risk.
“Make sure they’re locked away or taken inside when you’re not in the garden, and if you purchase costly new items such as play equipment or furniture, it’s best to update your insurer.”
He said householders should check they had adequate home insurance cover, and not leave any expensive or enticing items such as bicycles or power tools on show.
“Don’t make your home an easy target either – items such as ladders or wheelie bins can be used by burglars to get into your home, so lock them away and store them out of reach.
“With the warmer weather now here, July and August are always the most popular months for garden thefts, so protect yourself and your garden now before the peak time arrives.”