Monty Don often shares gardening advice and tips to his followers on social media. Today, he posted a video to broadcast a very important message: he urged all gardeners to “stop using peat now” to help save the planet.
In a video posted to his Twitter page, the horticulturist said: “Gardeners should not be using peat and we should all be supporting the RSPB campaign to ban peat.
“Peat sequests carbon and we have a climate emergency.
“We’ve just got to accept that by using peat we are releasing carbon into the atmosphere and making the situation worse.”
Monty stressed: “It’s an emergency. We need to act.”
The gardening expert went on to list other reasons why gardeners should stop using peat now.
He said: “The second thing is that peat bogs are valuable ecological environments and every time we rip some out the ground with vast machinery, it’s an act of eco-vandalism.
“And no garden justifies that.”
Monty continued: “The third reason for all gardeners is that there’s no need.
“There are plenty of alternatives to peat, and there is no excuse for using it for any plant at all.
“I haven’t used peat here in Longmeadow for years and my garden’s okay.
“So, stop – stop using peat now.”
It is not surprising that the RSPB and other groups and individuals are already calling on people to stop buying peat, especially since there was a voluntary plan to phase it out before 2020, which was evidently unsuccessful.
Peat causes damage to the environment and wildlife because it releases huge amounts of stored carbon dioxide when it is harvested, which contributes to greenhouse gas levels.
Peat mining is unsustainable as it grows back at just 1mm every year.
The UK has 2.6million hectares of peatland which contain around three billion tonnes of carbon, releasing greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane when it becomes damaged or dug up.
Plans are being drawn up by the Government to put a tradable “carbon price” on trees and peatland in order to offset pollution elsewhere.
The ban on peat-based composts will see British gardeners use alternatives to grow plants in the coming months and years.
Although peat-free composts are more expensive than ones containing peat, they are already available in garden centres across the UK.