Despite the well documented environmental consequences of its extraction peat still remains the growing medium of choice among many amateur and professional gardeners.
In 2013, 1.9 million cubic metres of peat were sold in the UK, which accounts for just over half of the overall market for growing media.
Of this huge volume of peat, over 95% was used in growing media, with the majority (two-thirds) being consumed by amateur gardeners, and the remainder by professional growers, local authorities and landscapers. Just under half of the peat sold for growing media came from the Republic of Ireland, with a further 38% coming from the UK, and the rest from Northern Europe.
Reducing peat consumption among amateur gardeners is key to continuing the decline of peat production, not just in Europe but globally, as this group still presents the greatest demand.