Gardeners are being urged to make a pledge to go peat-free – by campaigners who want to save peat bogs for wildlife.

The Peat Free Pledge campaign is being backed by organisations including The Scottish Wildlife Trust, Plantlife and Climate Revolution, as well as individuals such as designer and environmental activist Vivienne Westwood.

The Government has a target for UK amateur gardeners to be peat-free by 2020, but next year will see a host of high-peat composts return to garden centres.

Campaign organisers say that, every month, UK gardeners use enough peat to fill 69 Olympic swimming pools.

They claim that peat is being consumed “200 times faster than it forms” and 94 per cent of UK lowland bogs have been lost.

Asked if the campaign would also target the vast quantity of peat that’s burnt in Irish power stations, spokeswoman Dr Anna Evely said: “It’s focused on what we, as individuals, can do to help our peatlands.

“In this case it’s a simple message of ‘go peat-free in your garden’ – a message aimed at gardeners.

“We have discussed expanding our campaign at a later stage, beyond horticulture, but it will not be part of this first phase.”