The UK government must ban the sales of peat compost this year after its goal of a voluntary phaseout by 2020 proved an “abject failure”, according to a group of gardening experts, conservationists and scientists.
Peat bogs store huge amounts of carbon and must be retained to help tackle the climate crisis. In a letter to the environment secretary, George Eustice, seen by the Guardian, the group say the UK as host of the UN climate summit talks this year should show leadership on the issue.
The Easter weekend is traditionally the biggest gardening weekend of the year, and the first coronavirus lockdown in 2020 is estimated to have created 3 million new gardeners. In a survey by the Wildlife Trusts published on Friday, just one of the 20 leading garden retailers – Travis Perkins – said it would end peat compost sales in 2021. The trusts said there was no sign of the government’s long-awaited peat strategy.
“In 2011, the government set voluntary targets to end sales of peat-based compost for domestic use by 2020. This has been an abject failure,” said the letter to…