Protect your nest












Your garden acts as a barrier around your home and is your first line of defence when it comes to intruders. However, there are things that you can do to strengthen your security and protect your property and valuables.

  • Extra attention should be given to passagewayslocated at the side or rear of your home. Strong lockable high gates could deter thieves attempting to gain access to your property
  • Fencing and walls can provide extra protection by fixing trellis on the top. This will collapse if someone tries to climb over it and the noise caused can be enough to alert you or your neighbours and so deter a thief
  • Using gravel to build paths on or around your property is a good way to make sure you are alerted by the noise when anyone approaches
  • If you have expensive plants or trees, plant them where they can be seen - from your home or neighbouring properties
  • Don’t leave spare keys hidden in your garden, garage or shed. If an intruder finds them and uses them to burgle your home, your insurance may be invalid
  • Good lighting is an excellent way to deter intruders, particularly by fitting exterior lights with dusk-to-dawn sensors. These are light sensitive and activate when it gets dark and
  • turn themselves off when it gets light. Using low wattage bulbs provides a cheap and effective security measure for your garden

Using prickly plants to create a physical and psychological barrier is known as ‘defensive planting’.

Criminals do not like climbing through prickly plants and hedges. They know that a small item of ripped clothing or blood can help the police identify them.

However, prickly plants can be dangerous to young children playing in the garden. Bear this in mind when deciding on whether or not to use them as a defence
against burglars.

Here are some of the best plants to protect your garden:

Berberis Stenophylla (Barberry)

Growth: Medium-sized shrub, arching habit, evergreen
Flowers: Yellow in April/May, blue/black berries in autumn
Uses: Hedging or border shrub
Spike rating: Excellent foliage and stems, well armed with spines


Berberis Julianne (Barberry)

Growth: Medium-sized evergreen shrub
Flowers: Yellow in late spring, young growth has coppery tints
Uses: Hedging or border shrub
Spike rating: Excellent prickly foliage, very spiny stems


Mahonia Media 'Winter Sun'

Growth: Medium-sized shrub, attractive evergreen leaves
Flowers: Scented yellow flowers in winter
Uses: Border shrub
Spike rating: Good, spiny edged foliage


Ilex Aquifolium ' Ferox Argentea' (Hedgehog Holly)

Growth: Medium/tall-sized shrub, evergreen, male plants - no berries
Flowers: Not a prominent feature but interesting colourful foliage
Uses: Hedging or border shrub
Spike rating: Very good, tightly packed spines on sides and top leaves


Pyracantha Orange Glow (Firethorn)

Growth: Medium/large evergreen shrub
Flowers: White in early summer followed by orange autumn berries
Uses: Hedging, boarder or wall shrub
Spike rating: Excellent. Very spiny stems


Chaenomeles X Superba 'Crimson and Gold' (Japonica)

Growth: Medium-size spreading shrub
Flowers: Cup shaped red petals with golden stamens, quince fruits
Uses: Hedging, border or wall shrub
Spike rating: Very good, well spined stems


Sheds can be attractive targets for thieves. They usually contain expensive equipment and are often poorly protected.
Whilst a shed is not designed to withstand any form of determined attack, there are some simple measures you can take to make them more secure.

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  • Position your garden shed so that it is clearly visible from your home
  • Consider painting your house number and postcode onto valuable gardening equipment (e.g. lawnmower, strimmer and tools). This deters thieves and also increases the chances of the items being recovered and returned to you if they are stolen
  • Register your valuables on to increase the chances of getting them back if they are lost or stolen
  • Avoid storing valuable items such as power tools, fishing tackle or golf clubs in a shed. These items should be stored inside your home or a secure garage
  • The most effective way to secure shed doors is to fit a strong hasp and staple (also called a ‘padbar’). Secure this with ‘coach bolts’ and lock the hasp over the staple with a closed shackled padlock
  • You can further protect your shed with items such as ‘shed bars’ and larger items such as cycles can be secured to shed shackles (both pictured
  • After working in your garden, securely store tools such as spades or forks when you’ve finished. Tools left out could be used by an intruder to gain access to your property
  • Secure shed door hinges with ‘clutch head’ or ‘coffin’ screws. These are special screws that, can only be unscrewed with a special tool
  • Hang a curtain or net up at the window to prevent others from seeing what is stored in your shed

Shed bar  




Shed shackle





Garages often contain valuable items and many have internal doors which could offer intruders easy access to your home.

  • “Up and Over” garage doors are usually fitted with a central locking handle, which are often quite weak. They can be fitted with a hasp and staple, and padlock to strengthen security
  • If you have an alarm fitted on your home, consider extending the system to cover your garage for extra protection
  • Fit British Standard approved locks to all external doors and any internal garage doors