Monday 22 April 2013
RHS and DEFRA make £100k available to reduce peat usage
Defra, in partnership with the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), have set up a fund to help RHS Britain in Bloom and It’s Your Neighbourhood groups increase their use of peat-reduced and peat-free alternative growing media to protect the UK’s valuable habitats, biodiversity and wildlife.
The organisations will be making £100,000 available over two years to support the groups’ use of sustainable growing media in place of peat. Funding is available to cover the additional costs of using plants grown in sustainable growing media.
Britain in Bloom is the UK’s largest community gardening campaign, involving more than 300,000 people. As part of RHS Britain in Bloom, and its sister campaign, RHS It’s Your Neighbourhood, volunteers in cities, towns, villages, urban communities and neighbourhoods work together to improve their local environment, using gardening as a tool.
In 2011 the Government announced its aim of voluntarily eliminating peat use in horticulture by 2020 for home gardeners and by 2030 for professionals.
To apply for funds, Britain in Bloom or It’s Your Neighbourhood groups must be led by, or be working in partnership with, their local authority. Groups will need to develop partnerships with their local supply chain of growers, landscapers or growing media suppliers. There are no restrictions on the size, English location, or type of horticultural project.
Environment Minister, Richard Benyon, said: “Peatlands are increasingly rare habitats that not only support wildlife but also act as an important carbon store.
“Gardeners can help preserve our peatlands by buying sustainable alternatives to peat such as wood fibre, green compost, and composted bark.”
Speaking about the fund, RHS Principal Scientist Paul Alexander said: “We hope this initiative will encourage the greater use of growing media that has less and ultimately no peat.
“The more familiar gardeners become with using peat-reduced and peat-free media the sooner they will be able to grow successfully while playing a major part in preserving valuable peatlands.”
For further information and to apply for funding please visit: www.rhs.org.uk/britaininbloom email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to: Soils Policy SHiP Project, Defra, Area 4C Ergon House, Horseferry Road, London SW1P 2AL.
Applications for funding will close on 5 July 2013 and Defra hopes to confirm successful applicants in September 2013.
Notes to editors
For more information, please contact Garfield Myrie in the RHS Press Office on 020 7821 3060 or email email@example.com
For questions concerning Defra please contact John Levitt on 020 7238 1542 or firstname.lastname@example.org
About RHS Britain in Bloom
RHS Britain in Bloom is the UK’s largest community gardening campaign, involving more than 300,000 people. As part of RHS Britain in Bloom – and its sister campaign, RHS It’s Your Neighbourhood – volunteers in cities, towns, villages, urban communities and neighbourhoods work together to improve their local environment, using gardening as a tool.
To find out more, visit: www.rhs.org.uk/communities
About the RHS
The Royal Horticultural Society was founded in 1804 by Sir Joseph Banks and John Wedgwood for the encouragement and improvement of the science, art and practice of horticulture. We held our first flower shows in 1820, were granted a Royal Charter in 1861 and acquired RHS Garden Wisley, the first of our gardens, in 1903. From our first meetings in a small room off London’s Piccadilly, we have grown to become the world’s largest gardening charity.
Today the RHS is committed to providing a voice for all gardeners. We are driven by a simple love of plants and a belief that gardeners make the world a better place. 209 years on we continue to safeguard and advance the science, art and practice of horticulture, creating displays that inspire people to garden. In all aspects of our work we help gardeners develop by sharing our knowledge of plants, gardens and the environment.
RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 0845 130 4646, or visit www.rhs.org.uk/join
RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262