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Kitty Thompson: Update on CEN's peat campaign

Kitty Thompson, Senior Nature Programme Manager at CEN

Last month we launched our latest nature campaign: greener gardening for peat’s sake. The aim of this campaign is to raise awareness about the importance of peatlands as a nature-based solution to tackle climate change, and to ask our network to lend their support to CEN MP Theresa Villiers’s peat bill in Parliament. This bill provides the legislative means for the government to deliver its long-standing commitment to ban the sale of peat in the retail horticulture sector. 

While huge strides have been made by some industry leaders, peat-containing products are still readily available for the unsuspecting and unknowing gardener to purchase. Beyond bags of compost, products such as potted house plants and bedding trays still contain peat but there is no way for the consumer to know. If passed, this bill will enable amateur gardeners to garden freely without fear they will be contributing to the destruction of some of the UK’s most important habitats


Our network members had a sneak peak of the campaign just before the Easter bank holiday weekend when they received a newsletter outlining the importance of our peatlands and the role of this bill in protecting them. Our call to action for everyone has been to spread the word about peatlands and to encourage conservative environmentalists to sign our private letter to the Prime Minister to demonstrate their support for the government to deliver on its commitment to ban horticultural peat. 

We officially launched the campaign on social media (X/Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram) just after the bank holiday weekend and were pleased to see a broad base of support from the off. 

Ahead of Theresa’s first reading of the bill on the 16th April we invited members of the CEN Parliamentary Caucus to join us at a drop-in to talk about the bill and to have their photo taken with our campaign logo. We were pleased to see many CEN MPs take time out of their day to drop by to discuss the campaign. 

The next day, ahead of Theresa’s speech in the early afternoon, we were pleased to see a whole raft of news coverage published in support of the bill. The bill was covered in the Daily Express, along with a comment from Theresa and supportive quotes from myself and CEN MP Tim Loughton, as well as gardening enthusiasts/celebrities including Alison Steadman! 

The Telegraph’s story featured a comment piece from former Environment Secretary and now CEN MP Thérèse Coffey alongside gardening legend Monty Don. Conservative Home featured an article written by a member of CEN’s councillor network and advisory council, Cllr Joe Porter, who wrote about what his council had been doing locally to cut out peat compost and called on other conservative environmentalists to sign the CEN campaign letter. 

That afternoon Theresa Villiers headed to the chamber to debate her Horticultural Peat (Prohibition of Sale) Bill. Her bill was supported by a full list of 11 MPs (Selaine Saxby, Chris Grayling, Sarah Dines, Robin Millar, Andrew Selous, Dr Thérèse Coffey, Tim Loughton, Tracey Crouch, Sally-Ann Hart, Trudy Harrison, and Siobhan Baillie). Once her speech was over, Theresa headed to a quiet room for an interview to discuss her bill with Times Radio

As you can tell, it has been a busy few weeks for this campaign. But it is not over yet, if you would like to show your support, be sure to sign our private letter to the Prime Minister which we will be sending next week. 

Stay tuned over the coming weeks for more peat-related updates! 

If you want to be the first to hear about and get involved with CEN campaigns, be sure to sign up as a CEN supporter for free today. 


If you are a CEN supporter, councillor, or parliamentarian and would like to write for the CEN blog, please email your idea to


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