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08 May 2017, 01:00

Grandparents keep outdoor play time alive

  • Almost a third regularly have their grandchildren over to play outdoors

  • More than a quarter have children’s play equipment in their garden

  • Children in the North East spend the most time in their grandparents gardens

Britain is well known for being a nation of garden lovers - the over 50s are perhaps the keenest gardeners of all - but alongside green-fingered pursuits they are just as likely to be playing with their grandchildren this summer. Almost a third (32%) have little ones over to play outdoors at least once a month, according to research1 by Saga Home Insurance.

Grandparents from the North East are most likely to have grandchildren playing in their garden more than once a week (19%) closely followed by grandparents in Yorkshire (16%), Scotland (16%) and the North West (15%).

Whilst we are often told that young people aren’t getting enough exercise these days, the over 50s are championing good old fashioned play time by making sure the grandchildren get a decent gulp of fresh air whilst playing in paddling pools, on slides or in sandpits. In fact more than a quarter (27%) of over 50s with grandchildren own some form of outdoor play equipment from the more common swing-ball sets to the more unusual putting greens and croquet lawns.

It’s also clear that the over 50s like to make sure their green havens are beautifully decked out with almost half (49%) admiring feathered friends in bird baths, one fifth (20%) owning a BBQ or pizza oven and almost one in ten (8%) staying one-step ahead of the British weather with a gazebo. And after the grandchildren have gone home you might find some of the 880,000 over 50s who own hot tubs or hammocks taking a well-earned break.

Investing in our green spaces means that the country’s backyards often contain a significant number of valuables. According to analysis of Saga Home Insurance claims data2, more than half (54%) of garden cover claims made in the last 12 months have been due to theft and almost a third (30%) have been the result of bad weather such as hail stones, floods, storms, high winds and falling trees.

Head of Saga Home Insurance, Simon McPhee commented:

“It is great to see the over 50s are turning their gardens into fun spaces for their grandchildren and it’s obvious that the retired generation value spending time relaxing outdoors whether they are enjoying a family BBQ or unwinding in the hot tub. The value of garden accessories, ornaments and play equipment soon adds up so it is wise to make sure your home insurance policy provides appropriate cover for those items.”

From the 2nd June 2017 Saga Home Insurance customers can protect their gardens with up £5,000 towards replacing shrubs, trees and hedges as well as other expensive items including outdoor furniture, garden tools, ornaments and greenhouses.


Notes to editors:

1Populus interviewed 9,482 Saga respondents, all aged 50+ online between 18 and 24 April 2017. Data was weighted to be nationally representative. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules; for more information

2Saga home insurance claims data (1st March 2016 – 1st March 2017)

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