Peat – better in bogs than bags!

Published by Jonathan Smith on

Moseley in Bloom’s Mission Statement  is:

“To contribute to the sustainable regeneration and environmental improvement of Moseley and to facilitate community cohesion.”

In this way, we try to make Moseley cleaner and greener and to use resources wisely. So when planning new planting projects,  we discuss the materials we will use and as far as possible, we avoid planting mediums that include peat.

The maintenance of peat bogs is an important aspect of the fight against climate change as peat holds carbon that would otherwise be in the atmosphere. When peat is removed from peat bogs, carbon emissions are released. Peatland covers only 3% of the worlds land surface but holds 30-40% of all CO2 stored in the ground. In the UK we have nearly 3 million hectares of peatland but 80% of this is already damaged – and when damaged, the peat becomes dried and exposed to the elements, and instead of storing and taking up carbon, it emits it back into the atmosphere as CO2. If just 5% more of our peatlands were to go, the amount of carbon released would equal the total annual UK greenhouse gas emissions.

As the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) says ‘Keeping peat in bogs – and not in bags – is a crucial part of the fight against climate change’. You can read more from the RHS, from The Wildlife Trusts, from The Guardian and from the IUCN UK Peatland Programme

We encourage our volunteers and supporters to go peat-free wherever possible so please check when buying compost for the garden that it is marked ‘peat-free’. Labels such and ‘environmentally-friendly’ and ‘organic’ do not necessarily mean they are free from peat, so check the labels carefully. The Wildlife Trust has more information and ideas on how to go peat-free

Carol Miller