MP for Burton and Uttoxeter Kate Griffiths has raised concerns about the environmental impact of selling peat.
It is therefore that garden centers have raised concerns about the effectiveness of the alternatives to peat-free compost.
Peat-based compost comes from bogs and bogs, which are humid wetlands where rotting plant material builds up into peat over time.
Not only is peat home to a wide variety of wildlife, it is also an onshore carbon reservoir that, if extracted, can lead to climate change.
Ms. Griffiths MP stressed that the government remains committed to ending the use of peat in horticulture in England.
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The Tory MP said: “Many of us love our gardens and take pride in their maintenance, but we also need to consider the environmental impact, which is why the government remains determined to end the use of peat in horticulture in England.
“Officials from the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs held a round table with retailers and garden center representatives last August to discuss the use of peat in the horticultural sector as part of a series of round tables to discuss England’s peat strategy .
“I know Ministers will be putting this package of measures to protect the landscapes of England and provide nature-based solutions as part of their strategy this year.”
Their comments came after a grower at a garden center near Burton said they would have to stop selling compost with peat if it was banned, but right now the alternatives are nowhere near as good.
He said he didn’t use the peat-free alternative compost himself as it wasn’t as good as the real stuff.
Bill Tucker, grower at Stanton Nurseries in Stanton, said the difference between plants grown in peat-free compost and compost with peat is visible.
According to the wildlife trusts, garden centers should do more to stop peat sales as it has an impact on the environment.
Mr. Tucker said, “In the summer you can see which are peat-free and which are not. I’ve tried both and I’m not involved. Even if it’s in the flower pots, it just doesn’t work that well.
“The problem is that it doesn’t hold the water as well. If it were just as good, we’d be absolutely on board using the peat-free material. However, it’s not. I’m honestly not sure how compost can do without it Peat work.
“I realize it’s not for me, but I’ll have to use it in due course. Until then, however, I’ll keep using the good stuff.”
Craig Bennett, Managing Director of The Wildlife Trusts, said, “Our survey shows that although the industry has been aware of the problem for decades, the approach taken by most retailers to voluntarily bans the sale of peat has been deplorable.
“The time for voluntary agreements is over – the sale of peat must end now. Countless promises have been broken and goals missed, so valuable bog habitats are still being unnecessarily destroyed in the name of gardening.
“Bogs are vital habitats for wildlife and it is absolutely critical that they stay intact to combat climate change. The government can ensure these important carbon sinks work like nature by banning the sale of peat now. “
The government will decide whether new legislation is needed to end peat use in the horticultural sector, as the government set a voluntary target for the horticultural sector ten years ago to end sales to gardeners by 2020 and allow the professional use of peat in plants stop growth by 2030.
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