A joint statement signed by many NGOs and individuals, including Butterfly Conservation, has been issued today calling for a swift end to peat sales in the UK.
The statement reads:
Continuing to extract, import, export, and sell peat as a product is indefensible. We are pleased to see that the UK and Welsh Governments recognise the importance of keeping peat in the ground and are finally proposing a ban of peat in the retail sector. However, this is an urgent issue, and further delay until 2024 is unnecessary. UK Governments must act decisively and bring about a speedy end to the retail sale of peat for horticulture - there is no time to waste.
In going peat-free, the UK would benefit from securing a thriving, sustainable horticultural industry, that leads the way in the development of sustainable, peat-free growing media.
Peatlands are a rare type of wetland habitat that are home to fascinating plants and other wildlife, some of which can only be found in these precious environments. Peatlands cover just 3% of Earth's land-surface but these extraordinary habitats hold twice as much carbon as all the world's forests. Every year, millions of cubic metres of peat are dug out of the ground to be sold in UK markets for horticulture; these destructive actions fly in the face of the nature and climate goals of UK Governments. Protecting peatlands is a vital step we must take to put nature into recovery and to bring about an end to needless and vast carbon dioxide emissions. Healthy peatlands have the power to reduce the impacts of flooding, help to filter our drinking water, and are important conservators of our cultural heritage. Peatlands are vital habitats that urgently need our protection.
Peat Free April website: Click here to visit the Peat Free April website
Butterfly Conservation Blog Post: 'Peatlands - An important carbon store'