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Monty Don says gardeners using peat are ‘irresponsible’ and calls for government ban

Monty Don has said gardeners who use peat are “lazy and irresponsible”, as he backs a new push for the Government to introduce a long-awaited ban.

The TV gardener said “no garden” is worth damaging peat bogs that take thousands of years to form and store vast amounts of carbon.

“As it happens peat is completely unnecessary in any garden,” he said. “To stick to peat compost because that is what you have always used is just lazy and irresponsible.”

A Private Member’s Bill calling for a ban is being debated in the House of Commons this week, two years after the Government promised to ban the sale of peat for garden use by the end of this year.

The Bill is being proposed by Theresa Villiers, the former environment secretary. It is being backed by one of her successors, Therese Coffey, who was responsible for bringing forward the phase-out deadline to 2024.

Writing for The Telegraph, Ms Coffey called on the Government to “get on with the ban”.

“Unfortunately, we missed the boat to legislate this promise within the Environment Act,” she said. “Now, with a general election on the way, the deadline to deliver on this promise in this Parliament is rapidly approaching.”

The Government is understood to be keen to proceed with the ban this year, but it is unclear if they will find time in the remaining parliament.

Last year the Government admitted the ban would only come in “when parliamentary time allows it”.

Peatlands in the UK store over three billion tonnes of carbon, more than the forests of the UK, Germany and France combined.

Digging them up for compost is contributing to peatlands in the UK now emitting more carbon than they store, although historic destruction for agriculture, overgrazing and atmospheric pollution are also major factors.


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