Friday, April 02, 2021

Protect our Peat-Bogs

 Peatlands are a carbon "sink", which means they soak up carbon dioxide helping combat human-driven climate change. When peatland is drained and dug up, it emits rather than soak up carbon.

About 10 years ago, the UK government drew up a voluntary agreement for retailers to phase out sales of peat. Leading garden retailers are still failing to stop the sale of peat in compost. The Wildlife Trusts said only one of 20 retailers contacted said it would eliminate peat from its shelves this year.

Dr Rebekka Artz is an expert in peatland ecosystems at the James Hutton Institute said that between two and three million cubic metres of peat - around 8,000 hectares - was extracted for horticulture in the UK each year. Even more was imported from the Baltic states or from the Republic of Ireland.

"Only 3% of our land area on the planet is covered in peatlands but they are the largest carbon store that we have. They have grown very slowly since the last Ice Age, and only accumulate about a millimetre every decade. It's a very slow-growing resource and it's very easy to lose it," she explained

Craig Bennett, chief executive of The Wildlife Trusts, said: "Our survey shows that most retailers' approach to the voluntary ban on peat sales has been woeful - even though the industry has been aware of the problem for decades. The time for voluntary agreements is over - the sale of peat must end now. Countless promises have been broken and targets missed, with the result that precious peatland habitats are still being unnecessarily destroyed in the name of gardening.

Garden centres 'failing to stop peat sales' - BBC News

No comments: