Peat use on the increase despite reduction target

Peat debates may have cooled but are set to heat up again this year. Latest Defra figures show more peat was used in 2015 than 2014, with retail peat use up 10 per cent and professional use up three per cent. Alternatives used in garden centres also increased three per cent in 2015.

Image: HW
Image: HW

The ambition to phase out peat in commercial horticulture by 2030 and in retail by 2020 was set out in 2011's Natural Environment White Paper. Defra said a review is underway and will be published alongside its 25-year plan.

Growing Media Association chairman Steve Harper said: "The review is underway but the publication date is linked to the timing of the publication of the 25-year plan for the environment and Defra cannot state at this point when during 2016 this will take place."

Meanwhile, pressure on pesticides has also eased. Jude Beharell, sales manager at organic controls supplier Neudorff UK, said: "When the news broke of glyphosate's cancer association it was a hot topic but in the UK the issue has gone off the boil. The industry has almost become self-regulating, taking away actives, such as Bayer with imadripcloprid and thiacloprid."

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