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Horticultural peat: National Trusts' joint statement

Peat fields at Edale, part of the High Peak Estate, Derbyshire
We're working to preserve and protect peat fields like this at Edale, Derbyshire | © National Trust Images/Leo Mason

Peatlands are vital in the fight against both the causes and effects of climate change. This is why we've come together with National Trusts around the world to call for governments to ban the use of peat in horticulture. Read our joint statement to find out more.

Damage to peatlands

Peatlands around the world hold twice as much carbon than the world’s forests, while offering precious habitats for vital wildlife and plant species, as well as preserving high quality archaeological sites.

But damage to these peatlands from extraction, draining and other activity means that this carbon is being released, equating to more than five per cent of all global human carbon emissions.

Peat extraction for horticultural use is destroying peatlands and contributing to carbon emissions.

Good alternatives to peat are available, but neither governments nor industry internationally have done enough to support a transition to alternatives, despite continued promises.

Caring for heritage

As National Trusts, our organisations have the privilege of looking after our nations’ heritage for everyone’s benefit, which includes some of our most iconic buildings, landscapes, and gardens and parks.

Ending the use of peat for horticultural purposes will help protect and care for these places for future generations to enjoy.

We are all taking action in our organisations and working hard to eliminate the use of peat in our gardens and through our supply chains. But we can’t end this practice alone.

Action at COP26

We asked governments to take urgent climate action at COP26 to enable a swift to transition to peat-free gardening:

  • We call on our respective governments to heed the warnings of scientists, and act now to deliver a complete ban on the use and sale of horticultural peat without delay
  • We call on governments to accelerate the rapid transition of the growing media industry to become peat-free
  • We ask our supporters to make a change in their lives that will have a real impact in the fight against climate change and choose to be peat-free in their own gardening.

Joint statement of:

National Trust (England, Wales and Northern Ireland)
National Trust for Scotland
An Taisce
Bermuda National Trust
Din l'Art Helwa, National Trust of Malta
Falkland Island Museum and National Trust
Fundació Catalunya- La Pedrera
Indonesian Heritage Trust
Monuments and Relics Commission (Sierra Leone)
National Trust for Jersey
National Trust of Guernsey
National Trust of Korea
National Trust of Land and Culture (British Columbia)
National Trust of Slovakia
National Trust of South Australia
Saint Lucia National Trust
Taiwan Environmental Information Association (TEIA)

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