England to ban all sales of peat by 2024 to protect nation’s peatlands

England to ban all sales of peat by 2024 to protect nation's peatlands Credit: George green/Shutterstock.com

The sale of peat in England for use in the amateur gardening sector will be banned by 2024 to protect peatlands and the natural environment, as reported on Saturday, August 27.

The new measures on the ban of peat sales across England aim to target the restoration of an estimated 35,000 hectares of peatlands.

The UK Government is also launching a new £5 million fund to promote the use of peatlands for sustainable farming that aims to support the uptake of paludiculture – the practice of farming on rewetted peatland – in a bid to further help safeguard food security, produce alternatives to horticultural peat and reduce environmental impacts.

Environment Minister Richard Benyon stated:

“This Government understands the importance of keeping peat healthy and in the ground, here and around the world – to lock up carbon, strengthen drought resilience and serve as a powerful nature-based solution to climate change.”

“The actions announced today mark a new chapter in the story of our iconic peatlands – safeguarding their long-term health and vitality as part of our commitments to achieve Net Zero and deliver our 25 Year Environment Plan.”

Chair of Natural England, Tony Juniper stated:

“Peatlands are precious ecosystems that harbor beautiful and fascinating wildlife, shape the character of iconic landscapes, purify water and help to reduce flood risk.”

“They are also our largest natural carbon stores, locking away over 580 million tonnes. This ban on the sale of peat-based compost and work to phase out use in other areas is an essential step toward protecting these valuable natural assets and allowing for the recovery of degraded areas.”

“We are working with Defra and partners on the ground to restore thousands of hectares of peatland habitats, and today have awarded over £11 million to restore lowland sites in the south-west of England, and upland sites in the north of England.”

“These projects will have multiple benefits, holding carbon, helping some of our scarcest wildlife to recover, reduce flood risk and render landscapes more resilient to climate change impacts such as drought and fire.”

Professor Alistair Griffiths, Director of Science and Collections at the Royal Horticultural Society, stated:

“Peatlands are the world’s largest carbon store on land, with great potential to store carbon long term, helping to reach net zero.”

“They reduce flooding, when rewetted reduce fire risks and provide valuable habitats for both plants and animals.”

“To tackle the climate and biodiversity crises, it is essential that we have a sustainable transition to peat-free alternative growing medias.”

“The RHS stopped selling peat-based growing media bags in 2019 and will continue to work with Defra, industry and gardeners to accelerate the transition to peat-free.”

The news follows the UK latest scheme set to implement the toughest targets ever for water companies to combat sewage spills.


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Joshua Manning

Originally from the UK, Joshua is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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