But as awareness of the full and potentially devastating effect of human activity on our planet grows, and the spectre of climate catastrophe looms, some of our other gardening habits are rightfully coming under scrutiny. And this month, when sowing, pricking out and potting on reaches its peak, the Peat Free April campaign is calling on gardeners to stop using peat in composts and switch to alternatives instead.
The facts and figures are compelling. According to the campaign, 30% of land-based carbon deposits are in peat bogs. And, according to Plantlife, not only is the UK amateur gardening market responsible for using nearly 70% of the peat that is extracted from our bogs, but because the sphagnum moss grows so slowly, commercial extraction can remove up to 500 years’ worth of growth annually.
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