Published on 15 - April - 2010
First independent garden centre joins Growing Media InitiativeAylett Nurseries in St Albans has become the first independent garden centre to become a full member of the Growing Media Initiative (GMI), the cross-industry scheme to reduce peat in bagged growing media.
The GMI, led by the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA), was developed in conjunction with the Growing Media Association, DIY and garden centre retailers, supermarkets, Defra, the RSPB and the Royal Horticultural Society.
It seeks to help the industry reduce peat usage in the UK and work towards the new target set by Environment minister Hilary Benn for growing media to be peat free by 2020.
HTA's business development director Tim Briercliffe said: "It is encouraging to see an independent garden centre joining GMI and as a full member it proves that over 55% of the growing media and soil improvers they sell is not peat. We are seeing an increasing interest from garden centres with Dobbies as provisional members and we would encourage other independent retailers to follow Aylett's lead. GMI provides a perfect route for retailers to work towards achieving 2020 peat replacement target."
As part of their application for the GMI, Aylett Nurseries undertook an audit of the growing media they sell, and put in place a peat reduction action plan to progress even further.
Aylett Nurseries director Adam Wigglesworth said: "We are keen to use the action plan produced as part of the GMI audit to ensure we provide our customers with information enabling them to make an informed choice. The availability and quality of peat replacement products is improving, and it is important that our staff are aware of the issues and able to communicate them effectively. We are the front line with the consumer, and it is important to carry through the work being done by manufacturers in the area of peat replacement."
Compost manufacturer William Sinclair announced today that it has received a £9m advance payment from Defra to cease peat harvesting at its Bolton Fell site. Mass production of a sustainable peat substitute material, developed by Freeland Horticulture, has started and William Sinclair expects this have a positive impact on business throughout 2010.
For further information about joining the scheme visit www.growingmediainitiative.org.uk
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