After years of campaigning, the government has finally banned the sale of peat-based compost in our shops from 2024 (see: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/aug/27/englands-gardeners-to-be-banned-from-using-peat-based-compost). Along with other environmental campaigning organisations, Countryside Charity, the CPRE has long been warning of the severe environmental damage from selling peat in commercial compost, and after a consultation where over 95% of the public backed the ban, the government has agreed.
The Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra) has announced that the sale of peat-based compost would be banned in garden centres and supermarkets within 18 months.
Mark Robinson CPRE’s campaigns officer said: “This victory shows that campaigning can take a long time, but it is always worth it. Campaigners have raised awareness of the beauty of bogs, the vital importance of peatlands for our climate, and the urgent need to protect them – with just 13% of peatlands left in a perfect state.
“We wouldn’t have got here if it wasn’t for your support over the years, but I can’t deny it – some of our greatest challenges remain ahead. Peatlands across the UK remain severely degraded, and from flooding to food security, the climate emergency still poses a grave threat to the countryside.
“Days like this show that when we stand together, we can win. Can you help us continue to fight for a thriving countryside for future generations by making a donation today (see link below)?
“This victory is a huge step forward for what have been dubbed the ‘UK’s rainforests’, and their tremendous potential to lock up carbon at this critical time.
What’s more, we’ve just heard that the Peak District’s Kinder Scout reserve – the site of the famous mass trespass over 90 years ago – has been extended to over a thousand hectares, including to cover an outdoor laboratory for restoring degraded peatlands” and see: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-derbyshire-62742938
The environment minister, Richard Benyon, said: “The actions announced 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.”
The chair of Natural England, Tony Juniper, said: “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.”
To make a donation to the CPRE go to: https://donate.cpre.org.uk/page/112422/donate/1?ea.tracking.id=220831-peat-campaign-success-donate&utm_medium=email&utm_source=engagingnetworks&utm_campaign=2022_peat_win&utm_content=220831+Peat+win+email&ea.url.id=6046685
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