The UK Government’s Peat Consultation Opens

Peatlands cover just 3% of our planet’s surface, yet these precious areas store more carbon than all the world’s forests and vegetive plants combined.  Home to rare plants and wildlife, peatlands support a biodiverse range of plants, insects, birds, and wildlife, including many species that can only survive in these unique habitats.  As well as protecting us from climate change and providing us with beautiful open countryside refuges, peatlands offer us many other advantages.  Peatlands are naturally absorbent and hold onto vast amounts of water; they slow the flow of water, which helps to protect us from flooding.  As water moves through the peatland it is filtered, which helps to provide us with high quality drinking water.  In this climate emergency, our peatlands hold one of the keys to help us avoid catastrophe.

We’ve known about the importance of peatlands for decades, yet successive governments have failed to protect these precious environments.  The current UK government’s ambitions to protect our peatlands fall far short of what is required.  We need the UK Government to act wholeheartedly, urgently and robustly to ban all peat sales, peat extraction, and ban peat imports and exports.  These actions will help address our nature and climate crisis.  We need to end the sale of peat-based composts and ban professional growers from using peat.  Plants thrive in peat-free compost.  I want to encourage professional and amateur gardeners and growers to go peat-free and purchase plants raised in peat-free composts.  I hope to encourage as many people as possible to make their own composts.  We could make so much more compost in the UK (and around the world); does your local schools, colleges or universities have composting systems?  How about your office or local restaurants?

This is Thursley National Nature Reserve – this important site is the remains of a once larger peatland and a site of special scientific interest, near Godalming, in Surrey.

We’ve been destroying our peatlands for so long that many of these precious areas have now been lost altogether and more than 80% of our remaining peatlands are damaged and degraded; without protection and restoration the condition of our peatlands worsens each day.  I want to encourage our government to invest in our peatlands.  Peatland investment will benefit people, wildlife, and the planet, providing us with numerous economic and environmental benefits.  An investment of at least two billion pounds is needed to restore a minimum of 1.4 million hectares of degraded peatland habitat to meet the government’s own climate and nature goals.  Restoration costs increase every day that peatlands continue to be ransacked for peat; prompt and effective action is needed to protect our peatlands and ourselves.  Unnecessary delays are exacerbating the situation; we need our leaders to step up and take action for the good of our planet and our people.

If you would like to protect our peatlands and the rare, beautiful, and fascinating plants and wildlife that can only survive in these unique habitats, please sign this petition that calls on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to place a legal ban on the extraction of peat, peat imports, exports, and sales in order to protect peatlands both in Scotland and worldwide.  Please share with your friends and family, and post a link to the petition on all your social media channels.  Thank you.

Our UK Government has opened its peat consultation and is asking amateur gardeners, professional growers and anyone interested to compete a questionnaire.  To participate in the UK Government’s Peat Consultation and share your opinion, please click here.  NB. Scroll to the bottom where it says ‘online survey’.  The UK Government’s Peat Consultation closes on the 18th March 2022Read Peat Free April’s responses to the UK Government’s Peat Consultation by clicking here.

For more information about peatlands, please click here.

To read my response to an open letter that promotes the use of peat, please click here.

To read about how the labelling on compost bags is changing and find out about the new Responsible Sourcing Scheme for Growing Media, which will be introduced in January 2022, please click here.

For more information about peatlands, please click here.

For gardening advice for January, please click here.

For gardening advice for December, please click here.

For more articles on sustainable gardening, please click here.

To see my Compost Trials, please click here.

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One thought on “The UK Government’s Peat Consultation Opens

  1. Patricia Morrow

    December 31, 2021 at 1:50pm

    This must stop! There are alternatives that do not cost our futures.

    • Author

      Pumpkin Beth

      December 31, 2021 at 1:54pm

      I totally agree with you, Patricia. Please complete the survey and share with your friends and family. Thank you. Best wishes, Beth

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