§ Mr. Paul Marsden
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what steps he is taking to phase out the use of peat compost in gardens(a) owned and (b) tended by his Department; and if he will make a statement. 20W
§ Mr. Morley
The Ministry has had a policy since 1993 to substitute the use of peat with suitable alternative organic wastes such as compost, manure, leaf mould, bark chippings or coir. Advice on how to replace or minimise the use of peat has been circulated to all MAFF sites. The policy was updated in June 1999 and applies to all sites where the Ministry is responsible for grounds maintenance, including those of its Executive Agencies. We will be using the Green Ministers' Biodiversity Checklist (which encourages the use of peat substitutes and which is due to be published early in March) to raise awareness and to reinforce further our policy. The Ministry has specification clauses included in its contracts covering this issue.