Great news, peat is staying in bogs!
The government has announced that all sales of peat to amateur gardeners in England will be banned by 2024. Peatlands are the UK’s largest carbon store but only approximately 13% of our peatlands are in a near-natural state. Bagged retail growing media accounts for 70% of the peat sold in the UK and is frequently misused, for example being used as a soil improver rather than a medium in which to propagate plants. When this extraction takes place, the carbon stored inside the bog is released as carbon dioxide, contributing to climate change.
The announcement follows an extensive public consultation, which received more than 5,000 responses with over 95% in favour of government taking action to ban retail peat sales.
Peatlands are also crucial for filtering rainwater, as well as storing water that would otherwise cause flooding.
We are pleased that this government announcement will mean that peat can stay in bogs and peatlands can safely continue supporting wildlife and ecosystems.