Melcourt case study in Peat-Free Horticulture report

We’re delighted to be the first case study in the newly launched IUCN report Peat-Free Horticulture – Demonstrating Success.

The report highlights the great success that companies such as Melcourt have enabled in retail and professional growing markets. The report can be viewed here:

Successes in peat-free horticulture

The IUCN UK Peatland Programme report showcases successes in peat-free horticulture. It was launched as part of the UNFCCC COP26 Peatland Pavilion in November 2021.

Peatlands are a key part of the global climate change effort, as well as being of great biodiversity importance. The UK and Scottish Governments have committed to banning the sale of peat in horticulture to protect peatlands from damage by commercial extraction.

The report highlights the end of peat use as an opportunity. Not only to help the environment but also to enable a lasting and sustainable horticulture industry. Gardeners and professional plant growers are increasingly finding better alternatives to using peat.


icun report into peat free success in horticulture

Peat extraction damage

The report outlines how peat extraction for horticulture is targeted largely at threatened types of peatland. These areas of lowland raised bogs are drained and stripped of their natural living layer for peat extraction. As well as threatening wildlife, the operations release carbon dioxide from the preserved carbon store in the peat. This contributes to climate change.

Clifton Bain, IUCN UK Peatland programme adviser, said: “The case studies show an expanding economic industry in the UK supplying peat-free products for horticulture. A ban on peat use not only helps our environment but is an exciting example of green recovery that will allow a thriving sustainable horticulture industry.

“Gardening is increasingly recognised as important for our well-being and a valuable means of helping nature. Peat-free gardening makes that connection with our environment even stronger by switching away from unsustainable peat use to protecting our peatlands.”