Sector slams peat-free 'gimmicks'

RSPB and National Trust attacked by industry for plugging peat-free message

The horticulture industry has attacked an attempt by the National Trust to plug the peat-free message. The trust and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) are offering more than 100 plants grown peat-free. They will be sold through the spring editions of the RSPB and National Trust catalogues at the same price as plants grown in peat. Wirral bedding plant grower Follyfield Nurseries’ joint owner Fred Chapman said: “Not just bodies like the National Trust but sheds and supermarkets are pushing these plants as a sales gimmick. They’re all on the bandwagon.” And garden writer Peter Sea-brook questioned whether or not the peat-free plugs would thrive. The groups have enlisted TV gardener Chris Beardshaw to promote the products. He said: “Plants grown in peat-free compost have proved successful in my landscape gardening and show gardens.” RSPB environmental policy officer Olly Watts said: “It’s great the gardening industry is responding to the demand for peat-free plants.”

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