Peat

Defra’s long term policy is to promote management which minimises further carbon losses from peat habitats and allows them to act as a carbon sink.

Latest news

17 December 2010 - Consultation on Reducing the horticultural use of peat in England is issued.

Various mechanisms are helping us to do this:

  • Peat-free for a greener garden, part of ACT ON CO2, is a campaign to encourage gardeners to use sustainable peat-free compost.
  • Incentives are being provided for land managers to restore peatlands through the Higher Level Environmental Stewardship. Under HLS they can apply for funding to block grips which reduces the drainage of peat bogs.
  • The Heather and Grass Burning Code provides information on how burning in these areas can be conducted in a safe manner.
  • Planning guidance on peat extraction is set out in Minerals Planning Guidance 13 "Guidelines for Peat Provision in England". This provides advice for minerals planning authorities and others on planning controls over peat extraction. It also sets out the national picture on peat production, permitted reserves and consumption for horticultural purposes, as well as the sources and trends in usage of alternative products.
  • The UK Biodiversity Action Plan for lowland raised bogs contains a target for the market for soil improvers and growing media to be 90% peat free by 2010. The target is proving to be a challenge, but efforts are now accelerating with support from industry led Growing Media Initiative (Horticultural Trades Association website) in which Defra plays a part.
  • The Peat Partnership Project is a multi-agency project, established and coordinated by Defra to develop ways to better protect peat soils.

Page last modified: 17 December 2010