The National Trust has opened the UK’s first peat-free garden centre at Morden Hall Park in South London.
The 5,000 square metre garden centre will sell a range of plants and shrubs in line with the conservation charity’s principles.
The newly refurbished garden centre has over 7,500 plants available for customers including over 100 varieties of roses and perennials, 80 varieties of shrubs and fruit trees and 24 varieties of ornamental trees.
Ed Ikin, general manager for Morden Hall Park, said: “We have found some fantastic peat free plant growers and suppliers to work with and we are leading the way in this new venture for the Trust.
“Being able to sell peat free plants and shrubs is really important to us because of the work we do as a conservation charity to protect our natural resources.
“By using other environmentally friendly alternatives such as Sylvafibre® and high-quality green waste there really is no difference in plant performance and we look forward to demonstrating to our customers what success they can enjoy in their gardening by just switching to a different growing material.”
Mike Calnan, head of gardens at the National Trust said: “We have been peat free in our gardens since 1999 so it was essential that we carried our conservation principles through to the opening of our first garden centre.
“Peat develops very slowly, so it may take hundreds of years to replace each metre that is extracted for use in private gardens.”
Opening the garden centre is the final piece of the puzzle of the 125 acre (52 hectare) estate which includes a mansion, stable block, walled kitchen garden – where the garden centre is situated – rose garden, meadows, an arboretum and the wetlands.
Any profits from the centre will go back directly to Morden Hall Park to help with conservation projects, learning and community resources.