Research has confirmed what has long been suspected: Britons really do use the garden shed to avoid their other halves. The study by wood-care company Cuprinol found that one in five shed owners retreat to the shed to escape their partner, with 12% saying they feel happiest when inside their garden refuge. Many Britons confess to also using the shed to hide secrets from their loved ones, be it a stash of junk food (9%), cigarettes (8%), shopping receipts (7%) and even old love letters (4%). Rather than simply being used to house the lawnmower, many shed owners have transformed their sheds into cosy retreats, complete with electricity (35%), heat (11%) and lighting (40%). The research was released to mark the beginning of the firm’s annual Shed of the Year competition, which sees proud shed owners enter their weird and wonderful constructions to win top honours.