Posted: 04.05.21 at 13:54 by Tim Lethaby
The Dobbies garden centre in Shepton Mallet has made a sustainability pledge with the launch of new sustainable products and the start of its #sustainabledobbies campaign.
Dobbies says it is committed to educating about the importance of soil health and delivering environmentally-friendly practices and products, and sustainable solutions.
Dobbies is supporting the Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) aim to enrich lives through plants and make the UK a greener place.
This year, the RHS is encouraging everyone to get their "dose of Vitamin G" by taking a few minutes each day to connect with nature.
A key part of Dobbies’ sustainability pledge is to reduce the use of peat, plastics and pesticides in its product range.
The team are on track with the commitment made in 2020 to be 90 per cent peat free in 2021 and 100 per cent peat free in 2022.
The retailer has also worked with nursery suppliers to produce a roadmap for an annual reduction in peat use.
Dobbies has launched a number of new sustainable products in the Shepton Mallet store, and included in those are biochar products from Carbon Gold - Carbon Gold Biochar Fertiliser and Biochar Soil Improver - with Dobbies being the first leading garden centre to stock these products.
Carbon Gold’s biochar products are 100 per cent peat and chemical-free, FSC Certified and Soil Association organic approved, and are used by professionals the world over, including conventional and organic crop growers, tree care specialists and even elite sports greenkeepers.
Biochar is so high in carbon that adding it to soil permanently sequesters carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
In fact, biochar acts like natural magic in the garden, with significant and permanent benefits proven to boost the health and vitality of plants.
As part of #sustainabledobbies, there is additional focus on the safer range of pest control products, to reduce the impact on beneficial garden insects and wildlife.
The retailer says it does not stock weedkillers that contain glyphosate or slug killers that contain metaldehyde, and rodenticides have been delisted.
Graeme Jenkins, CEO of Dobbies, said: “At Dobbies we pride ourselves on providing the best gardening products, services and advice, and it’s also our responsibility to care for our environment.
“It’s our duty to raise awareness and promote better sustainability practices among our suppliers, team members and customers, and we look forward to sharing news of new products and services in our Shepton Mallet store over the course of 2021.
“As well as reducing our use of peat, plastics and pesticides, and providing our customers with recycling opportunities, we are also proud supporters of Terra Carta from HRH The Prince of Wales’ Sustainable Market Initiative – helping make the UK a greener place.”
Mike Hartshorn, managing director of Carbon Gold, said: “After seeing a massive boom in retail sales last year, we’re absolutely thrilled to have our biochar products on shelves at Dobbies Shepton Mallet store in time for spring 2021.
“Gardeners, home growers and allotmenteers have always wanted their plots of outdoor space to be healthy, vibrant and disease and pest free, but these days making sure they’re also environmentally friendly is rising up everyone’s lists of priorities.
"Our biochar products, which have always been the professionals’ best kept secret, are the perfect replacement for unsustainable peat-based products because they really work and they’re actually good for the environment. It is the gardening product of the future.”
For keen gardeners in Shepton Mallet there are also two new free virtual events, which will support the #sustainabledobbies focus: https://www.dobbies.com/events
May 8 – Time to Colour Your Garden
May 15 – Roses – The UK’s Favourite Flower