So much for Peatfree by 2020, it’s time for a ban.

Happy Easter to all.
Be a good egg! Please sign the new Wildlife Trusts’ petition calling for a ban on peat sales. I have signed. (As I’ve done with numerous similar petitions over the years.)

Almost a decade ago a voluntary target date to phase-out the use of peat in horticulture was announced by the UK Government.

That date has passed.

That date was 2020.

That voluntary phase-out has failed miserably.

It’s high time for a ban.

Peat compost is still widely available. It is the the default garden compost at dozens of retailers with thousands of outlets, including garden centres and supermarkets.

One has to actively hunt out peat-free alternatives, which I have done for at least 30 years. Spoiler alert: If it does not prominently state ‘peat-free’ on your bargain bag of compost, then the stuff in that sack is contributing to environmental vandalism on many levels.

Compost made from peat is damaging the rare, irreplaceable habitats from which it is extracted and the precious wildlife they support. Peatlands store and lock away carbon, act as sponges to hold and slow the flow of rainfall into our rivers, reducing flood risk in our towns and cities.

Removing peat is pillaging a soil carbon store far greater than all our forest carbon biomass. It makes a mockery of any other ‘climate change mitigation’ activity that we undertake or finance.

To restore our drained, deep peats, is described by international experts as ‘the low-hanging fruit of climate-change mitigation’. Yet while admirable efforts are underway by partnerships of conservation organisations to re-wet and restore drained peatlands, we continue to plunder this resource elsewhere for our gardens. It’s a travesty, in my humble opinion and so many people are entirely oblivious to it.

Except of course the Government is not oblivious, presiding over a farcical voluntary target to the industry to phase out retail of horticultural peat in the decade leading up to 2020.

It’s time for a ban. No ifs, no buts.

Please sign the petition.

Please ask for #peatfree compost and plants raised in peat-free media.

Please ask retailers what their policy is on peat-based composts and let them know you won’t be purchasing peat any more.

Thank you. That ‘s it. Happy Easter, happy gardening and make this the year you go peat-free.

Please sign the Wildlife Trusts’ petition to ban the sale of peat.

There are also some useful tips on going peat free from Wildlife Trusts:

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