Gardeners’ World star Monty Don, 66, has taken to Twitter to vow to end the mining and extraction of peat after campaigning for the end of peat in garden compost over the past two decades. After a fan pointed out the sheer amount of land dedicated for the extraction of peat in the UK, the star agreed that despite “having his work cut out”, he is confident he will help put an end to what he previously branded “environmental vandalism.”
A social media user took to the platform to share a report from the National Food Strategy, which visually explained how the UK’s land is used.
After being spotted by a fan of the expert gardener, they immediately tagged the activist in the post, claiming that he’s got a way to go in his target of eliminating the peat industry.
They wrote: “The peat statistic is incredible. Poor @TheMontyDon has his work cut out ending that industry (but I think he’ll do it anyway).”
The infographic revealed that the main area for the production of peat is found in the south west of the UK, while the majority of the country’s land is dedicated to rearing beef and lamb.
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The star also called out the government for “falling grievously short” of their targets to half all retail peat by 2020 and added that it’s time parliament impose a “total ban” on sales and production of peat.
In a statement for The Wildlife Trusts, the gardener said: “There is no garden, however beautiful, that justifies the scale of environmental damage or contribution to climate change that peat use causes.
“The extraction of peat for horticultural use is an act of environmental vandalism. It causes irreparable environmental damage.”
Monty went on: “The fact that it also significantly contributes to the release of CO2 and aggravates the effects of climate change adds salt to a grievous wound.”
The celebrity gardener has been urging people to buy non-peat based compost for a number of years now.
Speaking in 2002 in The Guardian, the star branded “large-scale mechanical extraction” as amplifying the problem.
In his column in Gardeners’ World magazine, he urged people to stop buying mass-produced plants grown in peat.
“If you don’t care about this you are sticking your head in the sand, not least because it will affect the quality of life for your children and grandchildren,” he wrote.
“And don’t buy plants that are grown in peat. No garden centre should stock these things. If they do, then they are actively choosing to do harm.”
Monty Don’s Japanese Gardens is on BBC Two tonight at 7pm.