New vegan-friendly peat-free compost mix from Dalefoot as company marks major UK peat bog restoration milestone

From saving peatlands to #peatfree

  • Dalefoot’s popular Lakeland Gold clay-buster compost now vegan-friendly
  • Its peat-free composts stocked in 112 garden centres/nurseries across UK including NEW for spring 2020 six Blue Diamond stores
  • Dalefoot’s environmental business restored over 32,700 hectares of damaged peat bog in 20 years  – over 1 million tonnes of carbon emissions stored since it was launched
  • Company works on Dartmoor, the Cairngorms and in the Lake District restoring peatlands to lock in carbon and reduce flooding risk

Dalefoot Composts has boosted its pioneering peat-free gardening range with a vegan-friendly compost for spring 2020 and announced a major carbon-saving milestone for its environmental contracting arm that restores precious peatlands across the UK.

The family-run company’s popular Lakeland Gold* compost, made from bracken sustainably harvested from the local fells, is now 100% vegan-friendly, thanks to a tweak to its potash-rich recipe**.

Lakeland Gold acts as a powerful soil conditioner, ideal for spring and autumn mulching on your garden beds as well as clay-busting, and is packed with natural slow-release nutrients helping to develop a fertile, living soil. Like the rest of Dalefoot’s peat-free, premium compost range, it is Soil Association-approved for organic growing and is available to buy online or from a growing list of stockists.

As well as encouraging gardeners to use peat-free compost, in a further step to combat the challenges of climate change, Dalefoot also helps restore the UK’s damaged peat bogs. Last year its team repaired over 3,200 hectares of degraded peatlands across the UK – some damaged by peat extraction for the horticultural industry – adding to the 29,500 hectares it’s completed in the past 20 years, the equivalent of 45,800 football pitches. Using innovative restoration techniques, the work turns the bogs back into carbon sinks. This equates to 1 million tonnes of carbon emissions– equivalent to 500,000 flights from London to New York – saved since Dalefoot started two decades ago, .

Professor Jane Barker, who runs Dalefoot Composts with her husband Simon Bland, said: “We are all now witnessing the effects of global warming and climate change: be it earlier flowering bulbs, the need for extra watering or for some too much rain. As gardeners we all have the opportunity to make a difference! Going peat-free isn’t just a personal choice, it’s a way we can all have an impact in our own individual way on climate change. Peat is pure carbon laid down over thousands of years and it needs to stay in a bog (not a bag!). Lots of little steps make giant strides.”

Simon and Jane have pioneered techniques to repair these fragile landscapes, with their team often working in challenging conditions in remote sites for organisations like Natural England, Scottish Natural Heritage, Cumbria Wildlife Trust and South West Water. They have engineered specialist equipment, lighter than a human footprint, needed to work on the delicate surface of peat bogs.

Dalefoot Composts is a farm-based business producing an exciting range of peat-free composts using only the natural resources of wool and bracken sustainably sourced from the beautiful Lake District. Its premium composts include Wool Compost for Potting & Containers, Wool Compost for Vegetables & Salads, Wool Compost for Tomatoes, Wool Compost Double Strength, Wool Compost Ericaceous (and Double Strength), Bulb Compost and Wool Compost for Seeds. Lakeland Gold, the original bracken compost, is now 100% vegan-friendly.


For further information please contact Emma Mason on 07762117433

Notes for editors: *Lakeland Gold – enriches your soil by increasing the organic matter. Benefits include natural slow release nutrients, moisture retention, pH balance, erosion reduction and providing a banquet for earthworms. Apply in the autumn directly to the top of the soil and allow the worms to work it into the beds. Also use as a top dressing for plants in the spring. Feeds naturally for two years. Proven CLAYBUSTER – clay soils will gain a more open structure so they drain better. The lignin contained in the bracken breaks up the clay and releases the nutrients held within. ** It no longer contains farmyard manure.

Dalefoot’s story – The entrepreneurial couple behind Dalefoot, environmental scientist Jane Barker and farmer Simon Bland, started making compost from the natural ingredients around their Cumbrian farm in 1997. Inspired by early 20th century gardening books that mentioned wool as a garden mulch, and a desire to make good use of the invasive bracken growing on the fells, the couple invented their secret compost recipe, bagged the product up themselves and started selling at local farmers’ markets. Twenty years later the compost is sold across the UK and has been shortlisted for RHS Chelsea Flower Show Garden Product of the Year. The business employs 18 local people, and sources bracken and wool from local farmers.

Growing benefits of the compost include:

  • Natural water retention of wool fibres means up to 50% less watering.
  • Wool provides a steady, slow sustained supply of nitrogen.
  • High levels of natural potash from the bracken promotes flowering and fruiting, healthy growth and hearty crops – NO need for any additional plant food.
  • Made from 100% renewable resources with great environmental benefits.
  • The compost has a similar soft texture to peat and has a wide range of naturally occurring trace elements for good plant health.

The range is available online at from £10.99 per bag down to £7.50 each for orders of 50 bags plus delivery, and also from a growing list of stockists.

Tel: 01931 713281   Email:  @DalefootCompost