GARDENERS in the Yorkshire region have a staggering £1.7 billion worth of booty stashed in their garden sheds, researchers claim.

The average shed contains belongings worth £1,400, but nearly one-fifth of people in the Yorkshire area said they had as much as £9,000.

Although most people use their sheds for storing tools, homeowners also store everything from quad bikes and freezers to vintage wines in them.

Yorkshire residents also keep the more sports equipment (up to £2,000)in their sheds than homeowners do in any other region in the UK.

But despite the average of £1,400 of valuables being kept in Yorkshire garden sheds, 20 per cent of the region's residents don't keep their outbuilding locked.

The results emerged from a poll of 3,000 shed-owners by Focus DIY, which also found 60 per cent of homeowners think their sheds would be easy to break in to.

Updated: 10:59 Friday, March 25, 2005