Garden Organic launch For Peat's Sake campaign

  • Last updated: 20 January 2023
We want to end the use of peat in horticulture.
Peat free growing

Over 95% of the UK’s peat bogs have become degraded or destroyed. This not only wipes out these rare ecosystems – wild areas which are home to a wealth of plants, birds and insects – but also rapidly increases our carbon emissions. See

For nearly 30 years the horticultural industry has ignored targets to promote and use alternatives in potting composts. Not only have they delayed to find peat alternatives, but they claim there is no public demand for it. We want to put an end to that.

Join our campaign – For Peat’s Sake.

  1. Go peat-free in your own growing
  2. Share our messages in your local community
  3. Ask your local garden centre if they sell peat-free plants and bagged compost. If not, why not? Hand them a letter asking that they stock peat-free. Here’s a suggested copy for you to download.
  4. Write to your local MP and DEFRA.
  5. Donate to our campaign.

Over the coming months we will be pushing peat to the top of the agenda again. We will be lobbying Defra to make their voluntary reduction targets mandatory. This must happen for the industry to take note and to act now.

And we will drive demand from the ground up. We wholeheartedly believe that if consumers are provided with the facts, they will readily swap their peat-based compost for homemade or peat-free.

But we can’t do this alone, we need your help…

Can you support For Peat’s Sake campaign with a donation?

It will help us to cover the costs of bringing together aligned organisations and knocking on Defra’s door.

It will also help us to produce an information pack, outlining the issues, and showing people how they can make a change. And it will help us get this information out as widely as we possibly can - to growers, communities, gardening clubs, local councillors and MPs, garden centres, compost manufacturers, allotment associations, schools, the national media - to anyone and everyone.

  • £5 will cover the costs to print and send an information pack to a school gardening club
  • £50 will cover the travel costs to get to a meeting at Defra
  • £200 will contribute to the staff costs of raising awareness of this important issue across a range of media

Please donate now and help us remove peat from horticulture, for good.

Thank you in advance for your support.

It’s time for change ....

This is the long history of failed peat reduction:

  • 1960s The UKs peat extraction for horticulture started on a commercial scale
  • 1970s Conservationist David Bellamy raised the issue of peat bog damage
  • 1990 A consortium of 14 leading wildlife and archaeological conservation organisations launched the Peatlands Campaign to emphasise the damage caused by peat-based industries, and to promote the use of alternatives.
  • 1999 The UK Biodiversity Action Plan said 90% of the UK growing-media/soil improvers market should be peat-free by 2010, but the industry failed to meet the target.
  • 2011 A natural environment white paper proposed ending the use of peat in England in the garden and hobby market by 2020, and the commercial horticulture sector by 2030. Garden Organic launched the I Don’t Dig Peat campaign, generating significant public awareness around the issue and pushing for change. A Sustainable Growing Media Task Force was set up with a target of getting results by 2015.
  • 2015 The target was missed.
  • 2019 A revised deadline was created for end of this year. Garden Organic launches a second campaign in order to keep pressure on the industry.

Don't let the industry get away with it again. Join us in demanding peat free composts!

Donate to our campaign.

Thank you for your support.