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Essex resort boasts the biggest gardens in Britain  | Daily Mail Online

It is not a part of the country famed for its wide open spaces. 

But if you’re looking for a home with a big garden, you should look beyond leafy Surrey, the rolling Yorkshire hills or the wilds of Northumbria – and instead plump for Canvey Island beside the Thames Estuary.

The Essex peninsular is the place with the largest average garden size in England and Wales, according to figures exclusively collated for The Mail on Sunday by Ordnance Survey.

Their data shows that houses in the Castle Point district, which includes Canvey Island, typically have 1,100 sq ft of greenery – more than three times as much as those in Westminster, whose Central London homes come bottom of the league.

Jill Shrubb in her large, well-tended garden. The aptly named 73-year-old said: ‘There are lots of big gardens round here. I’m out in mine every day but don’t ask me how big it is because I don’t know'

Jill Shrubb in her large, well-tended garden. The aptly named 73-year-old said: ‘There are lots of big gardens round here. I’m out in mine every day but don’t ask me how big it is because I don’t know'

But there could be a downside if Labour come to power and bring in their threatened ‘garden tax’.

Though Canvey Island’s houses are often relatively small, with lots of bungalows and chalets, the gardens are enviably spacious.

Pensioner Jill Shrubb has maintained a magnificent garden there. The aptly named 73-year-old said: ‘There are lots of big gardens round here. I’m out in mine every day but don’t ask me how big it is because I don’t know.

‘I have lovely willow trees, lots of shrubs, rambling roses and my favourite, begonias. I also have a big lawn with rolling lines, a lovely gazebo, a front pond and fish pond with newts.’

Rebecca Harris, Tory MP for Castle Point, added: ‘This is not an affluent stockbroker belt, but people come to live here because of the good quality of life, the strong sense of community and you don’t need an enormous pay packet.’

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And Barry Wootten, chairman of Hadleigh Gardening Association in the district, said: ‘People might be surprised by the size of gardens round here, but I’m not. Mine is just a cottage garden, 145ft long, but there are exceptionally big gardens here. The area is good for gardening but it is dry usually and you have to do a lot of watering.’

Next on the list is the neighbouring Essex district of Rushford, followed by South Staffordshire and the North Wales areas of Denbighshire and Flintshire.

Kent, traditionally known as the garden of England because of its plentiful orchards and hop gardens, is absent from the top ten, as are the leafy stockbroker belt counties. 

The Essex peninsular is the place with the largest average garden size in England and Wales, according to figures exclusively collated for The Mail on Sunday by Ordnance Survey

The Essex peninsular is the place with the largest average garden size in England and Wales, according to figures exclusively collated for The Mail on Sunday by Ordnance Survey

Unsurprisingly, the smallest average gardens are in Central London, where property prices are among the highest in the world. Nine of the ten areas at the bottom of the list are London boroughs.

Guy Barter, of the Royal Horticultural Society, said: ‘I would have expected the spacious properties in the leafy lanes of Buckinghamshire, Surrey and the Thames Valley to have the largest average size gardens. I think the result must be connected to land values.’

The information was gleaned from the OS Master Map, which is compiled using both aerial photography and surveyors on the ground.

A report commissioned by Labour this month suggested a new property tax which could consider garden size when calculating bills.