Ending the sale of peat: consultation

We are consulting on ending the sale of peat in Scotland. Responses to this consultation will inform plans and timescales for moving away from using peat products in order to protect peatlands from further damage. Their protection and restoration form important components of our Climate Change Plan.

Ministerial Foreword

Peatlands are an integral part of Scotland's cultural and natural heritage. Covering over a third of our land area, they store around 1.8 billion tonnes of carbon. In good condition, they offer multiple benefits and resilience to our environment and communities.

Restoring Scotland's peatlands can help us fight climate change, support biodiversity and provide good, green jobs – often in rural communities. This is why we have invested £250 million to restore 250,000 hectares of peatlands over a 10 year period to 2030.

In poor condition, though, the benefits are lost and peatlands become a source of carbon emissions. Their protection and restoration are vital and form important components of Scotland's response to the twin crises of climate change and loss of nature.

Hand in hand with our efforts to restore peatlands, we must do all we can to protect them. This means we must consider how to stop using peat, whether extracted in Scotland or elsewhere.

Horticulture is vital for our recreation, food supply and economy. The upsurge in gardening during recent lockdowns reinforces its role in our general wellbeing. However, it is also the main user of extracted peat and we need to understand how to move away from using peat in order to protect peatlands from further damage.

I invite you to respond to this consultation whether you are a professional grower or enjoy gardening at home or in an allotment. We also want to hear views from industry – those who extract peat, those who supply it, garden centres and other users of peat such as the fuel and whisky industries. We welcome a wide range of views to ensure that we can set dates for ending the sale of peat that are both realistic and ambitious. Working closely with industry, businesses and all users of peat, we will take the steps necessary to protect peatlands, both at home and abroad, supporting our Just Transition to net zero by 2045.

Mairi McAllan MSP
Minister for Environment and Land Reform


Email: horticultural.peat@gov.scot

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