Time to go Peat Free...
On Easter Saturday, the busiest weekend in the gardening calendar, we were campaigning against peat extraction from the UK's very best peatlands in the front of a Homebase store in Selly Oak. We asked the public not to buy Miracle-Gro multipurpose compost and encouraged gardeners to buy only composts and soil conditioners clearly labelled "peat-free".
Miracle-Gro is made by the US-based Scotts Company and contains peat stripped
from some of the very best wildlife habitats in the UK and Ireland. The packaging
does not say that the product contains peat and therefore misleads customers.
Our stall featured replica products and, with these and our Scotts-like uniforms, many people thought we were promoting and having come up to us for a discount were given a letter to hand in to the manager! This devious approach was well received and many people stopped to sign letters. No Miracle-Gro was sold that day.
Lowland raised peatbogs are one of the most important wildlife habitats in the UK. They are also of great cultural and archaeological interest. Locked in the peat is an irreplaceable archive of past climate, vegetation and human activity dating back thousands of years. Furthermore, peatbogs play an important role in the global carbon cycle, acting as massive carbon stores. During the day we encouraged people to sign a letter to the store manager asking him to publish a timetable for going completely peat-free. According to the April edition of BBC Gardeners World magazine, 74% of gardeners would support a peat ban. In response to consumer choices, recently B&Q published their timetable for becoming completely peat-free.
We hope that Homebase will consider our petition and will not support peat extraction from peatbogs, which have already been designated as Special Areas of Conservation.
[Ms Fiedler was also subjected to a surprise head-to-head live radio interview (BBC WM) with a Scotts Co representative, which she won hands down. Ed]