Please sign this e-petition

I’m grateful to what I imagine were lots of readers of this blog, as well as others, who signed the e-petition calling for the repeal of the Weeds Act 1959. Thank you. If you didn’t sign that one earlier then please have a look at it now even though it has passed the important 10,000 signature barrier already.

Let’s get another good environmental e-petition over the line!

I remember talking to Richard Benyon when he was Defra minister about measures to encourage the phasing out of peat in compost and he was fairly sympathetic – but nothing happened. Maybe as a trusteee of Plantlife the ex-minister’s views will have hardened up over the last nine years or so.

But it makes sense to ban the use, sale and extraction of peat for compost – as the petition says. I believe that most of the peat in garden centres etc is sourced from abroad, my recollection is from eastern Europe but I may be wrong, so you can help someone else’s peatbogs and plants by signing this petition. Please do – click here.

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5 Replies to “Please sign this e-petition”

  1. This issue is debated a lot on gardening forums (along with plastic plant pots, plastic compost sacks, plastic grass and whether cats should be allowed to free roam). The point that is often raised though is what gain will this actually make if peat powered power stations are still legal? If the companies like Bord Na Mona can't sell peat to gardeners they'll just burn it for 'green' energy instead. I don't use peat compost but it is still added by stealth into certain specialist compost mixes and there's no regulation for the bags to show the % of peat in the content. Most keen gardeners don't want to use peat now but the average person buying a cheap bag from the supermarket or a growbag for some tomatoes has no clue that peat should be avoiuded.

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    1. The Irish government are pretty rubbish when it comes to this given that Bord na Mona is a state-supported company. However, encouraging news is that permission for the Shannonbridge power station has been refused permission to continue burning peat in 2020. I think similar decisions are being made about the others.
      Of course, now the big evil in Irish peat extraction is for farm animal bedding.

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  2. Great to see this! Defra currently considering how to move from a voluntary to a legal requirement to meet the peat replacement targets that have been in place since 2011: it'll have to be quick to meet the 2020 ending of retail peat. Most of our peat comes from Ireland, some form eastern European countries - but there's no recent monitoring of origin or use.
    Bord na Mona now has a policy to end extraction for fuel but not for gardening... we don't have peat power in the UK but c'mon, just because something bad happens elsewhere is no excuse for not taking simple, easy actions ourselves!

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  3. In addition to not buying peat based compounds , gardeners can also seek assurances that bedding plants have been grown without use of peat when/if they buy them. You can also ask your local authority what its policy is with respect to peat (assuming they still have any money at all to spend on horticulture or bedding plants).

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