Peat-free products

Image: Pansies in Sylvamix Potting
© Melcourt Industries Ltd

Peat-free products

Cheap, usually imported, bags of peat do not reflect the environmental costs to society caused by peat mining and are undercutting the production and supply of peat-free materials. Advances in the development of peat-free horticultural products, means that the UK could establish its own long-term viable industry providing sustainable soil conditioners and growing materials for amateur and professional gardeners.

The benefits of peat-free products far outweight the cost of peat extraction.


Many peat-free composts work as effectively or even better than peat. Much of the material used for peat replacement contributes to recycling, such as green compost, or uses by-products including wood brash and other forestry waste. Commercially grown and harvested Sphagnum moss is also proving popular with the professional horticulture industry.


At an International Peat Society Summit in Rotterdam in 2018 there was recognition that International policy is moving increasingly towards more sustainable products, through ecolabelling and demands on producers to bear the environmental costs of their activities.  Supporting a speedy switch to peat-free products would help meet the environmentally responsible demands of society. It would also enable the UK to take a lead in supplying these sustainable materials rather than becoming dependent on imports.


A roundtable event held in Edinburgh including retailers and horticulture producers highlighted that there are already a number of manufacturers of peat-free soil conditioners and growing media in the UK. Given the right market signals and investment in this new industry by Government and with retailers support it will be possible to facilitate a shift away from peat and provide new opportunities for expanding employment.  


Ending the horticultural use of peat is important to help protect rare wildlife habitat and reduce carbon emissions but is also essential to placing the UK’s gardening retail and horticulture industry on a secure long-term basis.  Supporting the businesses that are developing the peat-free products is not just the responsibility of Government Environment Departments but also Trade and Industry and Climate Change.

5 Things home gardeners can do to address problems with peat

Listen below to find out what peat is and why it’s used in compost, what the problems are with peat extraction and 5 things that you can do as a home gardener to resolve these problems. Read full article...

The episode is written, hosted and produced by Dr Fay Edwards and features appearances from Dr Flo Renou-Wilson (research scientist, University College Dublin), Craig Macadam (Conservation Director, Buglife), Chris Dean (Partnership Manager, Moors for the Future Partnership and IUCN UK Peatland Programme Steering Group member) and Jane Barker (Owner, Dalefoot Composts).

 

Melcourt: Moving towards a future of peat-free products

Scottish Wildlife Trust: 50 of the future

Plantlife: The pain of a peat-free UK

     

Plantlife, along with the RSPB, Wildlife Trusts and Friends of the Earth, is calling on government and industry to replace peat use in gardening and horticulture - see Plantlife peat campaign

 

 

Peatland Pavilion concept
Peatland Pavilion will feature at UN Climate Change Conference (COP26)The Peatland Pavilion will provide a hub for highlighting the important role that peatlands play…
Bord na mona
United Nations recognizes major Irish Peatland Restoration initiativeDianna Kopansky of the United Nations Environment Programme has recognised the initiative led by…
GPI logo
Open call! Your opportunity to participate as a Contributing Author for the GPI’s upcoming Global Peatlands AssessmentThe Global Peatlands Initiative are currently looking for Contributing Authors (CAs) to participate…
Peatlands Are...
Reflections from Bog Day 2021This year's Bog Day was celebrated around the world on Sunday 25th July - bringing peatlands to the…
Power Station image
UK invests over £30m in large-scale greenhouse gas removalWe are delighted to support this project which will investigate the management of peatlands to…
IUCN UK PP Conf 21
Conference 2021 Registration OpenSign up for this year's IUCN UK Peatland Programme conference ‘Peatlands in Partnership: a road to…
Butterburn flow
Nature for Climate Peatland Grant SchemeInformation about the scheme to restore English peatlands and how to apply for funding.
IUCN UK PP Conference 2021
IUCN UK PP Conference 2021 - Save the dateSave the Dates: 13th - 16th September 2021
Minister Poots pictured with Jennifer Fulton, CEO of Ulster Wildlife
Northern Ireland Peatland Strategy ConsultationEnvironment Minister, Edwin Poots has launched a public consultation on the draft Northern Ireland…
Virtual Peatland Pavilion
Peatland Pavilion proposal for COP26 programmeOpportunity to contribute to and participate in proposing and shaping the first ever dedicated…
Diggers on Bwlch y Groes
Wales’ first carbon-funded peatland restoration project is complete!A peatland restoration project at Bwlch y Groes on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park is the…
England launches Peat Action Plan
England launches Peat Action PlanThe IUCN UK Peatland Programme welcomes the long-awaited publication of the England Peat Action…