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Environment Minister demands end to garden peat

The Natural Environment Minister, Richard Benyon, has demanded peat no longer be available to amateur gardeners after 2020, and to all levels of gardeners, procurers, and growers by 2030.

The Cheshire Wildlife Trust approves wholeheartedly of the government consulting program designed to eliminate the use of peat throughout the horticultural industry in the UK.

Cheshire MP, the Rt. Hon. George Osborne, supports it as well, “I have witnessed the multitude of fauna that flourishes in peatland environs, exactly like the Wildlife Trusts reserve for nature, located within my constituency of Cheshire. So I’m backing Defra on the reduction of peat in horticulture all around. If we can achieve this by 2030 we have a chance of saving the wildlife that depends on this precise kind of habitat.”

More than 3 million cubic metres of peat are consumed for horticultural uses in the UK each year. Most of it is required for amateur uses, the balance by professionals.

Peat collecting is practiced across Cheshire, Holcroft Moss being the only untouched location. Of all habitats throughout the UK, peatlands are the most endangered. Many very specific flora and fauna thrive only in peatlands.

The carving out of the peatlands dramatically affects the land’s usage of water resources, especially the manner in which it is stored. As peatlands dehydrate, the humid environment of the peatland is lost and along with it many species who rely on its humidity. The sundew plant, a carnivore of the peatland flora is a precise example.

Destruction of peatlands leads to the release of CO2 stored within them. They are carbon sinks for the entire planet and their existence and health can decide the balance of the planet’s climate change crisis.

Peat is not a renewable resource, since it takes thousands of years to develop. The Wildlife Trust said, “Removing peat is not a sustainable industry, since it damages both the climate and wildlife.”


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