Subject Predicate Object
Government response
government response summary
The Government is committed to ending peat use in horticulture by 2030.
government response details
We are considering a range of measures, including a ban, and we plan to set out proposals to further reduce the use of peat in horticulture in the England Peat Strategy. The Government remains committed to phasing out the use of peat in horticulture in England by 2030. In 2011, we set a voluntary target to phase out the use of horticultural peat in the amateur sector by 2020, and the professional sector by 2030. This commitment was reconfirmed in the 25 Year Environment Plan (25 YEP), along with a statement that if we have not seen sufficient movement to peat alternatives by the end of 2020, we will consider further measures. While some key players in the industry have been rising to the challenge, and new peat-free products have been launched in 2019, it is clear that more progress is needed and we are considering a range of further measures that will be set out in due course Commercial extraction of peat in England is licenced on approximately 627ha or 0.1% of England’s peatland on 24 sites. The National Planning Policy Framework, first published in 2012, ends the granting of new licences for peat extraction. Peat extraction in England will therefore end, when the remaining licences come to an end. Two thirds of the peat sold in the UK is imported from Europe, so it is also important that we focus on reducing the demand for peat in horticulture to also protect peatland outside of the UK. We are continuing to work with the industry to make the transition to peat alternatives simpler. For example, we are jointly funding research with the industry to overcome practical barriers to peat replacement in professional horticulture using commercial scale trials. This £1m project ended in December 2019 and has shown promising results and a report will be published with results later in 2020. The project was co-funded by the Agricultural and Horticulture Development Board, growing media manufacturers and commercial growers. We have also worked with the industry to develop a Responsible Sourcing Scheme for Growing Media which supports manufacturers and retailers in making informed choices on growing media ingredients, launched in September. Department for Environment, Food and Rural AffairsThis is a revised response. The Petitions Committee requested a response which more directly addressed the request of the petition. You can find the original response towards the bottom of the petition page (
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