Families in Portsmouth are less likely to have a garden than most places in the country, figures reveal
Figures from the Office for National Statistics revealed 86 per cent of dwellings - including flats - in the city have access to a garden, placing it as 312th out of 370 council areas in Great Britain.
They also showed private gardens in Portsmouth were significantly smaller than elsewhere with an average space of 117.9m2 compared to 332.7m2 national average.
Councillor Dave Ashmore, Portsmouth City Council's environment boss, said: 'Getting outside is very important for both your physical and mental health. We know there's a link between people having access to greenery and having better mental health.
'Obviously the initial lockdown rules of only going out to exercise once a day will have affected people more who don't have access to a garden but there are parks and open spaces people can get to.
'We have been increasing green cover in the city and want to invest in things like living walls and more trees and plants in streets.'
Out of 91,513 homes in Portsmouth 78,621 were shown to have access to a private garden. Of these 99 per cent of houses and 65 per cent of flats had gardens.
When broken down into neighbourhoods it showed Fratton West and Portsea had the lowest number of gardens - 57 per cent - and they were on average 103.8m2 in size.
The area of Southsea around Haslemere Road had the most number of gardens - 99 per cent - but they were only sized 53.9m2.
Southsea resident Laura Mellor who championed the play streets scheme in her road Francis Avenue last year, explained why it was important children had access to open spaces. She said: 'For children play time is their exercise. You're not going to see a child go for a 5K run.
'What was great about the play street scheme was seeing children from the same road make friends with each other and have somewhere close to their homes to play.
'During lockdown I do see children in their forecourts shouting over to each other as their way of being social which is great to see.
'When things go back to normal we hope play streets will become a thing across the city since the council gave its backing before lockdown.'
In East Hampshire 90 per cent of homes had garden space with an average size of 635.9m2.
In Fareham this was 94 per cent with 330.2m2, Gosport was 90 per cent with 174.9m2 and Havant was 91 per cent with 278.1m2.