Protecting your garden and outbuildings not only keeps bikes and other valuables in your shed safe, but can also stop burglars getting into your home.

House diagram showing where planting and fences can help protect your house

1 - Low front boundary; keep hedges and walls at the front of your house low (under 1 metre) so burglars have nowhere to hide.

2 - Secure side gate; keep side gates locked at all times. Open gates mean burglars can easily access your home without being seen by passers-by or neighbours.

3 - High side and rear boundaries with trellis and spiky defensive planting; keep hedges, walls and fences around your back garden high (over 1.8 metres). Add lightweight trellis to gates and fences and plant some prickly plants such as those on page 4 to make it harder for burglars to climb over.

4 - Gravel driveway and path; gravel driveways and paths make it harder for burglars to go undetected.

5 - Security light; install an outside security light so that intruders can’t approach without being seen.

6 - Intruder alarm system; install a burglar alarm system.

7 - Secure shed door and window; always keep your shed locked and secured. Often sheds contain valuables such as power tools and bicycles.

8 - Never leave tools lying around; never leave tools lying around as they can be used as a way of breaking into your home.

Stay secure in summer

Leaving ground floor windows, doors and patio doors open in the summer can give burglars the perfect opportunity.  If you’re upstairs or out of the room, even just for a few minutes, close them and help shut burglars out.

Extra steps you can take

Consider buying a shed alarm. These are usually quite cheap but still effective.

Add an extra layer of protection to shed windows with laminate sheets of film or internal metal grills.

Create a natural defence against burglary

Planting particular shrubs (in their mature or semi mature form) along garden walls and fences can make it harder for burglars to access your property or put them off completely. To maximise this effect plant them close to each other.

We recommend planting any of the following:

Berberis
Osmanthus
Forget
Poncirus
Crataegus
Pyracantha
Aralia
Chaenomeles
Ribes
Oplopanax
Eleagnus
Robinia
Colletia
Ilex
Climbing roses
Maclura
Mahonia
Ligustrum (privet), or laurel
Smilax and Xanthoxylum

Live in a ground floor flat or share a communal garden?

You can still make use of these tips by planting in front of ground floor windows to prevent easy access.