For peat’s sake! XR activists stage garden centre protest

A GROUP of activists from Extinction Rebellion (XR), dedicated to raising awareness about climate change, is urging a local garden centre to help support its action.

To highlight their message XR members staged a peaceful protest about the sale of peat-based compost at Newbank Garden Centre in Dobcross.

The sale of peat to gardeners in England and Wales is to be banned by 2024 under plans published by the government.“Peat protects our environment by storing carbon,” said activist Holly Marie Saunders from XR Mossley and Saddleworth. “If it is dug up, carbon is released which is bad for the environment.

“As a group, we are interested in preventing climate destruction, or at least slowing things down.

“The action was an awareness raising tool to allow the local community to access information about why it is negative to buy compost that contains peat.


“Saddleworth is 75 per cent moorland and the peat is a natural resource which supports so many different species.

“All the things we love about living in this local area to my mind relate back to our moorland.

“We previously wrote to the garden centre to ask them if they had considered committing to ending their supply of compost containing peat by a certain date. Other big organisation have already committed to doing this.


“We are not saying don’t go to the garden centre,” added Holly. “We love the garden centre and we want to support it.

“But as a local business it should respect the environment in which it operates

“In order to do that it should stop selling peat-based compost or at least commit to a certain date to stop like other retailers do.”

“We spoke to lots of people out for Mother’s Day celebrations and generally we got a good response from them, including children. One 12-year-old spoke so eloquently about climate change and why he thought it was an important issue.”

While the majority of the compost products contain peat, Newbank, which also operates garden centres in Royton, Newton Le Willows and Radcliffe, does offer customers peat free alternatives.

For more information on the local group email: xrmossleyandsaddleworth@gmail.com

• The Independent contacted a senior figure at Newbank’s head office for a comment but hadn’t received a reply at the time of going to press.

5 Replies to “For peat’s sake! XR activists stage garden centre protest”

  1. These are a group of individuals for whom, “protest,” has become just another form of middle class recreation and a damn nuisance for everyone else and hypocrites too.

    Whist they’re busy harassing Newbank Garden Centre and it’s customers, the UK government are abut to deport Julian Assange to the US , but I suppose it’s all about what they think is really important ?

    1. They say you can’t judge a book by its cover — but I reckon in this case you can!!!

  2. Well done for the action. What’s really important is to raise awareness of the climate crisis (and the well-documented catastrophic effects it will have on the human race) in the hope that governments and individuals will take action.

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