With garden centres re-opening today Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust are urging people to go peat free in their gardens to help wildlife. As part of their Action for Insects campaign, which aims to change the future of insects, Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust are asking the local community to make small changes in their gardens, homes and lifestyles that will help insects and other wildlife. One of these small changes is to go peat free in your garden. Peat has been a major ingredient of the compost used in gardening for many years.
Peat is made up of decayed organic matter and vegetation, developing slowly under particular, wet conditions over thousands of years. Peat can be found in wetlands such as bogs and moors, and its composition makes it home to a unique ecosystem. This peat is dug out of wild places, damaging some of the last remaining peatlands in the UK.
When it comes to climate change, peatlands are vital. The excess carbon in our atmosphere is causing the planet to heat up. Peat bogs act like a sponge, absorbing carbon from the atmosphere and storing it like a sink.
But sadly, more than 94% of the UK’s lowland peat bogs have been destroyed or damaged, and a wealth of wildlife has disappeared along with it. This vital habitat isn’t easily replaced.