Why is it bad to harvest Peat?
Peatlands are special habitats
Peat is formed over thousands of years by partly decomposed wetland plants which are compacted at a rate of 1mm per year. This means that the farming of Peat by mass harvesting for burning and horticulture use is irreversible over a human life timescale. Peat landscapes are beautiful and rich in natural flora and fauna, and are bio-diverse habitats that are irreplaceable. Healthy, wet-state Peatlands are not only critical habitats for a wide range of biodiversity, including endemic species, but they provide vital ecosystem services.
Degraded Peatland contributes
to climate change
Peat bogs play a crucial role in the carbon cycle. Peat bogs in good condition have the potential to offer a significant nature-based solution to climate change. Ecosystems like Peatlands are capable of absorbing and storing large amounts of carbon dioxide, making them “carbon sinks,” and ideal for helping to tackle climate change. Peat bogs are very low in nutrients, and only very specialised plants – like sphagnum, cotton grass and sundews – can grow here, but more importantly for climate change, the carbon in these plants is trapped in perpetuity. Human actions, such as draining bogs and harvesting them for agriculture & horticulture, threaten to turn the world’s Peatlands from carbon reservoirs to carbon sources.
The Peat ban is coming
The use of Peat in retail horticulture products is being phased out and a ban will be in place by the end of 2024 according to the latest information provided by Defra. RocketGro fully support this decision and are continuing to develop a wide range of professional quality Peat-Free Composts and growing media products to help growers & gardeners across the UK to make the switch away from Peat based composts. With your support and purchase of RocketGro products you are making a difference and playing your part in saving Peat bogs & Peatlands across Europe. Peat imported from Ireland to the UK has now stopped, but Peat is now being shipped from Latvia, Lithuania & Estonia which is where most compost manufacturers in the UK are importing their Peat from.