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Peat digging exacerbates Somerset floods

Glastonbury Tor  

30/12/2013

The time has come for a moratorium on peat digging on the Somerset moors. Government totally failed to meet its 2010 deadline of a 90% reduction in the sale of peat to UK gardeners and is now aiming at 2030.

Last year, most bags of compost sold in UK garden centres still contained peat up to 70% of peat and considerably outsold composts made from alternative sources.

Peat is an important carbon dioxide sink and is a ‘sponge’ for flood water. Continuing in the extraction of peat is unnecessary, damaging to the environment and increases flooding in Somerset. Peat left to dry on the surface increases greenhouse gases.

The obvious alternatives are homemade compost and better marketing for council collected vegetable waste that is currently sold as cheap farm soil improver.

Government money is being used (slowly) to purchase mineral extraction rights so that no one will really lose out. If they won’t close the industry down then at least labelling legislation is required so that it is obvious to everyone which products contain peat.

They important thing is that gardeners stop buying peat based products immediately …

 

 

 
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