Have your say: reader let­ters

The view from your side of the fence

Gardeners' World - - Contents -

In pur­suit of peat-free op­tions Why is it so hard to find peat-free com­posts? My lo­cal gar­den cen­tres put it at the back of dis­plays and there seems to be only one bag for ev­ery 12 com­posts with peat. The cost is also higher when it should at least be equal; maybe there should be a tax on peat? Rev Tony Red­man, Suf­folk

I like to do my bit to save the peat bogs and have been us­ing prod­ucts with coir [coco fi­bre peat sub­sti­tute] with some suc­cess. But two gar­den cen­tres have told me that coir has been with­drawn from the mar­ket. Is this true? Mr D R Parks, Tun­bridge Wells

We say Coir prod­ucts are still avail­able; per­haps your lo­cal gar­den cen­tres have sup­ply is­sues so look on­line. Turn to Over the fence on p22 to see what our colum­nists have to say about peat. Plus, look out for our June is­sue where we ex­plore the im­pact of all com­posts and grow­ing me­dia

Word on the street trees I read your Over the fence de­bate ‘Can felling our city trees ever be jus­ti­fied?’ ( March is­sue) with great in­ter­est. I live in Sh­effield, where the Coun­cil’s £2.2bn ‘Streets Ahead’ PFI high­way main­te­nance con­tract is al­low­ing for the felling of ap­prox­i­mately 6,000 of Sh­effield’s ma­ture street trees. I have al­ways ap­pre­ci­ated the con­tri­bu­tion these trees make to a built-up en­vi­ron­ment, both from an aes­thetic and health point of view. They soften harsh ar­chi­tec­tural lines, ob­scure eye­sores, pro­vide shel­ter from ex­treme weather, slow the flow of rain­wa­ter, fil­ter harm­ful pol­lu­tants and pro­tect pedes­tri­ans and verges from traf­fic. They also pro­vide habi­tats for birds sand other wildlife. David Long, Sh­effield

Thanks for re­port­ing on the street tree cri­sis in Sh­effield ( Over the fence, March is­sue). I live on Lady­smith Av­enue, one of the streets in Sh­effield where the Coun­cil plans to cut down all but one of the 12 healthy, ma­ture lime trees. There has been no ra­tio­nal rea­son pro­vided to war­rant this kind of dev­as­ta­tion. Coun­cil­lor Bryan Lodge may ar­gue about the needs of high­way main­te­nance but other con­trac­tors have said it’s proved cheaper to work around trees – which has proved the case in other towns and cities. Chris Rust, Sh­effield

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