Moorlands makes great progress towards peat-free planting
With plans to ban the sale of peat compost to gardeners in England from 2024, the District Council is already ahead of the game in the Moorlands. Peatlands cover around 12% of the UK and are sometimes described as our rainforests for the role they play in tackling the climate and biodiversity crisis by acting as a carbon sponge and storing the equivalent of 15 years’ worth of UK carbon emissions. For more than a decade now, Staffordshire Moorlands District Council has specified the use of reduced or peat free compost for its parks and other planted open spaces. The Council’s grounds maintenance partner, Alliance Environmental Services (AES), does not use peat directly and aims to source nursery stock from growers that use peat free compost. Cabinet member for Climate Change and Biodiversity, Councillor Joe Porter, joined AES colleagues to plant the final bedding plants of the season at Brough Park in Leek. He said: “Our peatlands are amongst our most valuable natural resources so we need to do what we can to preserve and restore them - and something we can all do to help is to use peat-free compost gardens in our in our gardens, allotments, window boxes and even hanging baskets. “Now is the time to start to move towards more sustainable compost products and, I’m delighted to say, that here at the Council we’ve been doing that for several years now. “We’ll continue to ensure we are leading by example and we’ll be working with local garden centres and other suppliers to make sure they’re aware of the forthcoming ban so that local horticulturalists across the Moorlands can carry on growing and gardening with confidence.” The Council purchases bedding plants twice a year from suppliers who may use peat reduced compost to grow the plants and will continue to work with them to further reduce the use of peat.
L-R Councillor Joe Porter joined Joe Lucking and Kai Thornton from AES to plant the final bedding plants of the season in Brough Park.
Councillor Porter at Brough Park.