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Using peat-free compost

  • by JW

Protecting peat bogs.

How you can make sure you aren’t accidentally harming this precious habitat with your gardening choices.


Gardeners can’t get their hands on enough compost:

Floods earlier this year have caused a compost shortage in coronavirus lockdown |

Why not a bit of DIY?

How to make compost – Can you make your own compost? |

Especially because so much commercial compost is full of peat – which is not good:

Peat takes millennia to generate, and bogs store 10 times more carbon than forests — using it in gardening is madness |

Alarm over peat extraction plans in south west Scotland |


The latest newsletter from the Butterfly Conservation group makes the point:



In these challenging times we hope you are still managing to find enjoyment in nature, whether this is sitting in your garden to count butterflies, a walk in your local park once a day or simply admiring the view from your window.

Nature is always here for us, even when everything else feels uncertain, and now more than ever it is important we do not take this for granted. In this month’s All Aflutter we are talking about peat bogs, a vital natural habitat, that we all need to protect. Read on to find out how your support has helped us protect them, and how you can make sure you aren’t accidentally harming this precious habitat with your gardening choices. There is also still time to take part in our colouring competition ending on Sunday, the winner will be chosen by Chris Packham.

For Peat’s sake

Peat bogs are a vital and precious habitat. Not only do they provide sanctuaries for a wide range of wonderful wildlife, including the Large Heath butterfly, they also act as a natural defence against climate change, absorbing vast amounts of carbon.

Our Bog Squad has been protecting peat bogs in Scotland for six years.

This amazing team of volunteers has been blocking old drainage ditches and removing water-sapping invasive scrub, allowing Sphagnum mosses, the driving force behind peat formation, to flourish again.

Find out more…

Dig it: Avoiding peat and protecting wildlife

As our gardens start to get into the swing of summer many of us may be repotting plants we have grown from seed.

This is a really important time to make sure if you are buying compost you check to see if it contains peat and refuse to use any products containing peat. Peat is extracted from living peat-bogs, and these bogs are home to special wildlife, including the Large Heath Butterfly.

This month our Secret Gardener gives advice about using peat-free compost and the best plants to add to hanging baskets and planters this month.

Get gardening tips for May…

Look Out For…

Holly Blue

Poplar Hawk-moth


Protecting butterflies and moths hasn’t stopped

Amid an ongoing biodiversity crisis, nature still needs our help.

We have adapted the way we work to ensure butterflies, moths and our precious greenspaces are protected for everyone to enjoy for many years to come.

We need your help to conduct research, create educational materials, support farmers, plan for the future and work with government ministers across the UK to influence environmental policy.

Times are tough for many people now but, if you can, please consider making a small donation or regular gift to ensure we can continue to protect nature when we need it most.

Help protect nature…

Can you help Butterfly Conservation to £1,000?

Ecclesiastical Insurance is asking for nominations for charity awards of £1,000 before Sunday 24 May. Can you spare a minute of your time to nominate us?

Just go to their nomination website, enter our charity number 254937 and click on the spy glass to search.

From the drop down menu under Charity Type pick Environment and Climate, then just complete the rest of the form.

Thank you!

And finally… we need your help to record butterflies, just count the butterflies in your garden and become a citizen scientist, helping us find out more about climate change. Find out more.


May newsletter |