Join Garden Organic’s campaign to reduce the use of peat-based compost and download our handy guide to making leaf compost.

Those of you who follow us on Twitter (look for @Food_Durham) might have noticed a few posts relating to use of peat in garden compost.  Unless you actively choose peat-free (and the quality of this can vary depending on the brand), the compost you buy at the garden centre will contain up to 70% peat and it is estimated that over 2 million cubic metres of peat is used in the UK each year (Garden Organic). You can find out more and support the campaign here.

It is an issue close to our hearts – the North Pennines AONB which includes large areas of Weardale and Teesdale contains 27% of England’s blanket bog; a unique and essential wetland habitat for many rare plants and animals that stores huge amounts of carbon and represents a valuable resource in the fight against climate change.  Find out more about what is being done to protect it here.

Growing Durham wants to help raise awareness and encourage growers to adopt more sustainable alternatives, and since leaf compost or leaf mould is a brilliant alternative to peat, we’ve produced a Guide to Leaf Composting which you can download here.  We’d love to see schools, community centres, businesses and individuals working together to make more use of fallen leaves.  Not only could this help gardeners reduce their impact on the natural environment, but we know there are plenty of residents who struggle to collect and dispose of fallen leaves in autumn and who’d appreciate a helping hand.