Forsinard RSPB reserve, Sutherland, Scotland

Why use peat free compost?

The large-scale removal of peat across Europe for use in gardens is destroying one of our most precious wildlife habitats.

Alternatives to peat

It takes centuries for a peat bog to form with its special wildlife - modern machinery destroys it in days.

Peat alternatives are available in most garden centres and DIY stores, or you can use your own compost. These alternatives are excellent in the garden if used in the right way. 

Different peat alternatives are available for seeds, potting and soil conditioning. We endorse peat-free, organic, multi-purpose compost.

Peatlands are crucial store of carbon, and their protection is vital in our fight against climate change. They are also precious places for wildlife. However, they are under threat. Around the world they are dug for peat for use as soil conditioners in our gardens, they are drained, converted to farming and forestry, and they are burned.

But we can all do our bit to help! And first and foremost we'd like everyone to pledge to give up using peat in your garden and pots and planters. There are plenty of really good alternatives - so next time you shop, check the label on your compost and make sure it's peat free

How you can help

 Gardenroom doorway and herbacous borders, Norfolk

Changes you make to your habits in the garden can help protect our environment. See how green you are and what new steps you can take in the garden.

Start composting

Worms in compost heap

A wildlife-friendly compost heap provides a satisfying feast for woodlice and worms, and in turn can be a brilliant place for toads, slow-worms and even grass snakes.

A group of peat free plants

By choosing peat free compost when gardening, you’ll be helping to keep peatlands, a precious ancient habitat, alive. Storing an estimated 3,200 million tonnes of carbon (CO2), UK peatlands are important for nature and climate, providing a vital home for a variety of plants and wildlife. When peat is removed for the sale of compost, this fragile habitat is dismantled, and CO2 is released back into the atmosphere. Join our campaign #forpeatssake from 14 October 2021.