Seabrook criticises RSPB peat survey for missing out Sun team

Poll of garden writers fuels further debate on use of peat-based products in horticulture industry.

Compost: peat use still debated. Image: HW
Compost: peat use still debated. Image: HW

A poll by the RSPB of 27 garden writers which found 12 use "a little" peat, 12 use "no peat", four use "half peat and half peat free", and two use "mostly peat based compost" has been criticised by Sun gardening editor and peat use defender Peter Seabrook for missing out his team.

Of those surveyed, 25 work in the garden media and two, Mark Gregory and Tom Stuart-Smith, are garden designers.

RSPB representative Nik Shelton said more people were asked but did not respond. The group was chosen because they were "influential", he explained. However, Seabrook, gardening editor of the biggest circulation gardening pages in the Sun, said he was not asked.

Shelton called for a levy on peat products and said that more people would buy peat-free if it sat alongside peat products at a cheaper price in the garden centre.

"Just because it's cheaper it is not necessarily any excuse. Using it is destroying habitats and releasing large amounts of carbon," he said.

He maintained that Alan Titchmarsh and Bob Flowerdew were out of touch for using peat, while Alys Fowler and "the younger generation of bloggers" were more in tune with current environmental thinking.

RSPB GARDEN WRITERS SURVEY - THE RESULTS

- How much peat-based compost do you use? None: 41%; small amount: 41%; mostly/half peat: 18%; peat only: 0 per cent.

- Do you agree with the Government's aim to phase out peat products? Yes: 63%; no: 22%; undecided: 15%.

- Do consumers know enough about the environmental impact of peat products to make an informed decision? Yes: 11%; no: 85%; don't know: 4%.

GARDEN MEDIA VIEWS

Peter Seabrook, gardening editor, The Sun

"This comes out every Easter and is the usual misleading propaganda written to promote the RSPB. I wasn't asked and neither were Steve and Val Bradley. They just asked soft representatives. The RSPB should put its own house in order before attacking other industries."

Alys Fowler, garden writer

"There needs to be more education about the benefits of non-peat compost - it can be just as effective as peat. As well as reducing carbon emissions and protecting peat bog habitats, peat-free compost is also a great way to recycle waste. Just as we do not have endless peat bogs, we also do not have bottomless landfill sites."


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Is local 'reveg' a commercial opportunity in the UK?

Is local 'reveg' a commercial opportunity in the UK?

Botanist Dr Trevor Dines suggests there are commercial opportunities for local seed supply in the UK.

What next for Bunnings UK after massive write-down?

What next for Bunnings UK after massive write-down?

Australian analysts suggest Wesfarmers could pull out of the UK following the continued woes of Bunnings/Homebase UK & Ireland, but is there a way forward for the 250-store DIY/garden centre group?

Business planning - cash-flow management

Business planning - cash-flow management

Wider market volatility can have a big impact on cash flow but there are ways to avoid problems, Neville Stein explains.


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Horticulture Week Top 100 GARDEN CENTRES 2017

See our exclusive ranking of garden centre performance by annual turnover. 

Garden Centre Prices

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world
 

Read more Peter Seabrook articles

Neville Stein

Business advice from Neville Stein, MD of business consultancy Ovation
 

Read latest articles

PLANT SUPPLIERS GUIDE

Free to subscribers, the essential guide for professional plant buyers
 

Download your copy