Relaxation, unsurprisingly, proved the most popular main function for UK gardens, with 44 per cent of those with an outdoor space using them to unwind. Only 9 per cent felt the main function of their garden was to help support wildlife.
Gossip was the most likely thing to be passed over the garden fence, with 21 per cent saying this. Just 6 per cent answered 'flower bulbs/seeds' and 'ladder', and 5 per cent said 'hedge clippers' and 'wildlife/gardening advice'.
However three quarters thought encouraging wildlife in the garden was important, with 65 per cent of people in the UK wanting to see more butterflies in their garden, making them the most commonly desired garden species. Garden birds such as robins, starlings and house sparrows followed with 62 per cent of people wanting to see more of them, with the top three rounded off by hedgehogs (53 per cent).
Richard Bashford, RSPB Giving Nature a Home Project Manager, said: "Gardens and outdoor spaces are a place that people love to socialise, spend time with the kids and just generally relax after a long day. But the great thing about gardens is that they are multi-functional – we can socialise and relax in them but they're also a perfect place for people to help support wildlife. And having a garden brimming full of wildlife makes them even lovelier places to enjoy."