EDP Norfolk - - THE MARDLER -

The county’s gar­den­ers will be in­ter­ested in a new peat-free com­post made from Broad reed and fen veg­e­ta­tion.

A project has been us­ing dif­fer­ent tech­niques to cre­ate soil im­provers from the by-prod­uct of the con­ser­va­tion man­age­ment of wet­land na­ture re­serves. The Broads Author­ity and Nor­wich Far­mShare have paired up to trial the scheme un­der the Euro­pean-funded project, CANAPE (Cre­at­ing A New Ap­proach to Peat­land Ecosys­tems).

The dam­ag­ing ef­fects of peat-based com­post on the en­vi­ron­ment are an in­creas­ing is­sue for many.

Peat­lands glob­ally con­tain at least 550 bil­lion tonnes of car­bon, twice as much as all the car­bon stored in the world’s forests. If all that car­bon was to be lost to the at­mos­phere, it would be nearly 80 times more than an­nual global CO2 emis­sions from our burn­ing of fos­sil fu­els.

One part of the so­lu­tion is al­ter­na­tive soil enhancers which is why CANAPE is cham­pi­oning a new use for un­wanted reed when it is har­vested from the Broads Na­tional Park. The fen veg­e­ta­tion has to be man­aged through­out the Broads and the nat­u­ral by-prod­uct could prove to be an al­ter­na­tive to peat com­post. Nor­wich Far­mShare are spread­ing the ‘CANAPE com­post’ over more than half of their com­mu­nity farm land as they sup­port ef­forts to en­hance soil qual­ity re­spon­si­bly.

Se­nior ecol­o­gist for the Broads Author­ity An­drea Kelly said: “Nor­wich Far­mShare has been in­stru­men­tal in try­ing out a new al­ter­na­tive way of enhancing soil qual­ity. These nat­u­ral Broads soil im­prover prod­ucts should prove to be an eco-friendly so­lu­tion. By work­ing to­gether with or­gan­i­sa­tions like Far­mShare we hope to be able to raise aware­ness of the im­por­tance of peat wet­lands for stor­ing car­bon and to en­cour­age the use of peat free com­post.” broads-author­

Nor­wich Far­mShare re­ceives CANAPE com­post

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