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58% of Consumers in Wales Say Peat-Free Compost is Important

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Green gardeners across Wales can now pick up Dobbies’ own-brand peat-free compost with added John Innes after the company launched the new product this week.

This comes as a Censuswide survey for Dobbies revealed that 58% of consumers in Wales say peat-free compost is important* to them: the national average was 61%

Peatlands are the nation’s largest carbon store, as well as a haven for rare wildlife and natural providers of water regulation. Historically they have been a major source of raw material for compost.

Wales’ first national peatland action progamme was launched in November 2020 while earlier this month, the UK Government launched the England Peat Action Plan supported by an expected over £50 million between 2021 and 2025. The Scottish Government also has a £22 million fund to undertake peatland restoration projects.

Dobbies pledged in 2020 that it aimed to be 90% peat free during 2021 and 100% during 2022 in relation to bagged compost. The UK’s largest garden centre group is now the first UK retailer to produce its own brand, peat-free compost with added John Innes.

Marcus Eyles, Horticultural Director at Dobbies, said:

“Even before the pandemic it was clear that businesses needed to be providing more environmentally-friendly options for customers. We’ve carried out research that out underlines that point with people taking a fresh look at what’s important to them.

“The fact that 58% of people in Wales see the importance of peat-free compost is encouraging. We will share more information online and in-store, as we aim to increase awareness.

“We started on our own peat-free journey in 2018 and this is another important milestone. We will have more new peat-free products in store soon.”

The new peat-free compost is on sale in stores across Wales now. Dobbies’ own-brand peat-free products, including this new item with added John Innes, are priced competitively when compared to the products containing peat, so that there is no financial disincentive for consumers.

The compost is ideal for all plants, flowers, fruits and vegetables​ and is perfect for use in pots, containers and baskets. It works well for sowing larger seeds, taking cuttings, young plants and established plants.

The woody materials and grit provide a great structure for healthy root growth, securing air for roots to breath and allowing excess water to drain. Plants can be fed for up to five weeks thanks to a balanced combination of nutrients. Added minerals and organic matter are provided, along with extra nutrient, by the green compost derived from recycled vegetation.

One notable feature is that the wood fibres and bark give the compost a different look but it grows just as well ​as other products. It is not suitable for ericaceous plants.

The survey is based on responses from 2,003 British consumers between 17 May – 19 May 2021, with 96 surveyed in Wales.