How the bark from the logs we mill brings new life to British gardens – and keeps peat in the ground where it belongs

Here we are shredding and then grading bark for our sister company Melcourt.

At a time when the world knows we should be doing our best to keep carbon out of the atmosphere it’s astonishing to realise that we are still releasing tonnes of the stuff annually by the simple act of digging up peat to use in our greenhouses and gardens. Peat bogs are a massive carbon sink naturally created over thousands of years as well as unique natural habitats The fact is that there’s no need to extract and process peat when there is a proven, effective and sustainable alternative: peat-free growing medium made from composted bark fines which arise as the result of the sawmilling process.

Melcourt (which we part-own) is the acknowledged leader in the peat-free market, producing material not only for more environmentally aware gardeners (as the SylvaGrow®  range) but also, as Sylvamix®, for some of the most respected professional growers in the UK who are doing their bit to produce their material in a more environmentally responsible way. These businesses are growing millions of trees, shrubs and plants for garden centres annually and turn to Melcourt products for their proven track record and for the unrivalled technical and other support which the company provides them.

The picture shows the start of the process in which the larger bits of bark and wood fibre go on to become garden and landscape mulches, the smaller bits (fines) go on to be part of peat-free growing media. It’s our continuing mission to ensure that every part of the tree, be it solid timber, sawdust and fibres that arise during the milling process, and the bark itself, all become useful products in their own right.

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