Garden Organic’s campaign to take peat out of horticulture is proving hugely successful. From government advisors to individual GO members, the voice is strong and united – there is NO place for peat in our gardens or garden centres.
In February, the Committee for Climate Change advised DEFRA that sales of peat should be banned from 2023. The CCC are the government’s expert advisors on tackling the climate emergency and reducing the UK’s greenhouse gases. They say “The extraction of peat for all uses in the UK should cease by 2023….. Despite the availability of peat-free alternatives for compost and bedding, the horticultural industry has not produced the desired decline in sales of peat based composts…. therefore there should be a ban on the sales of peat for horticultural use. This would include imports of peat,” (over two thirds of peat used in horticulture is imported, either from Ireland or from Eastern Europe.)
It’s not just at Westminster that peat free growing is getting a voice. In January, two GO members have stood up in front of local audiences to talk about the importance of peat bogs, and why we don’t need to destroy them to grow successfully at home. We salute their commitment. The media have taken an interest in our campaign, with articles in BBC Gardeners World magazine, Garden News, Which Gardening mag and many local newspapers.
There’s more to come, as the campaign gathers steam.
• We will publish and produce a Peat-Free Growing booklet – with tips and advice on how to cut peat out of your potting mixes
• Garden Organic is joining forces with the media campaign #peatfreeapril, alongside the National Trust, the RHS and other big names in the horticultural world.
• The England Peatland Strategy will be published later this year. We have no doubt that it will also recommend bringing forward the ban on peat in horticulture.
• We trust the new Secretary of State for DEFRA, George Eustace MP, will take forward recommendations from the CCC as well as the Peatland Strategy, redressing the wrongful work of the composting manufacturers who have invested in peat, and divested the country of this valuable resource.
What can you do?
• Sign up to our For Peat’s Sake campaign
• Make sure you buy only peat-free compost. If your retailer doesn’t stock it, ask why. And take your money elsewhere.
• See here on how to make your own potting compost mixes