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The Government is pushing ahead with proposals to allow unregulated genetic modification of plants, including food crops, in England – and with hopes to do the same for animals.
Peat-based composts will no longer be available for sale to gardeners by 2024, and to the wider horticultural sector by 2028. It is well established that peatlands have significant potential for carbon storage and biodiversity. Perhaps less well known is their ability to mitigate flooding by slowing water loss and that they provide naturally high-quality drinking water.
When it comes to peat-free alternatives, woodchip is the big thing. Preferably woodchip that has been properly composted down for over 18 months. More peat-free ranges are becoming available – Blue Diamond garden centres for example now stock 22 peat-free growing media. A useful list of Soil Association-certified composts can be found on their website. Successful peat-free alternatives include Dalefoot’s potash rich blends of wool and bracken and Fertile Fibre’s coir-based composts. Although having a water footprint and incurring large transportation distances, coir scores well on the Responsible Sourcing Scheme as it is generally a waste product from coconut plantations and can be highly compressed making it lightweight. Whilst strictly not peat- free Moorland Gold’s compost could be seen as recycling peat containing moorland deposits sourced from Pennine filter beds.

The Seed Co-operative have open days planned for this year
Thu 23 June (Members)
Sat 23 July (Public and Members)
Thu 25 August (Public and Members)
Sat 24 September (Members)
Please feel free to come to any of the above, though you are particularly welcome at the Members' Days, which are Thursday 23 June and Saturday 24 September.
There will be lots to see and plenty of interesting information. 
Please let us know if you would like to come by contacting the Seed Cooperative with your chosen date and the names of attendees.

There is a new report out on allotments, their provision, protection and potential improvement. Written by Erica Douglas and available through the website www.woodlands.co.uk
There are 12,107 allotment and community garden sites across Great Britain, making up 135 km2 of land, but within the last 15 years demand for a plot has greatly increased. With a wealth of benefits to personal health, community well-being and to the environment, there is every incentive to encourage their further provision and use, and to keep protecting those that already exist. This report summarises potential areas for improvement and how increasing the number of plots could be implemented.