The government has launched a consultation with an aim to ban the sale of peat to amateur gardeners by 2024 – 14 years after it first announced its intention to ban the digging of peat and destruction of bogland for the business of horticulture. The consultation closes on 18 March 2022. Kate Jennings writes:
Peatlands are vital both for nature and for their ability to mitigate climate change by locking up and storing carbon. They are the UK’s largest stores of carbon and they also provide vital ecosystem services, such as supplying over a quarter of the UK’s drinking water and decreasing flood risk. When peat is extracted, the carbon stored inside the bog is released as carbon dioxide, contributing to climate change. Peat extraction also degrades the state of the peat mass which threatens biodiversity and the efficacy of ecosystem services across a larger area.