Monday 18th February 2002 -
National Day of Action against Scotts.
Across the UK offices, factories and peat extraction sites belonging
to The Scotts Company (the world's largest horticultural company)
were today occupied or disrupted by activists protesting against
the continued destruction of rare raised peat bog habitats. Seven
facilities belonging to Scotts were targeted by Peat Alert, a recently-formed
national campaign network, which aims to stop peat extraction in
the UK and Europe. "We want Scotts to know that they cannot continue
decimating our wild places without attracting this type of disruptive
opposition", said Danielle Locke, a spokesperson for the network.
- Godalming, Surrey - Head Office At around 2pm 20 people
went into the offices for about an hour & a half before police
with dogs arrived and people left. Most of the office was closed
down and the front doors were locked using bicycle D-locks. There
were only about 70 workers, so they made quite an impact. After
leaving the demonstration a van load of protesters were pulled
over. By around 5pm 15 people were arrested and taken to Guildford
police station, charged with burglary. They were released at 3am
the following morning, not charged but bailed to reappear on one
of two dates in April.
- Corwen, North Wales - PBI Home & Garden fertilizer & pesticides
manufacturing plant. "a fun day out had by all! Early
this morning (well about 8 am) 13 welsh and english activists
descended on Corwen home and garden plant in north wales - owned
by Scotts - and proceeded to disrupt work at the factory. The
office was occupied as was the factory floor. A banner was hung
overlooking the A5 road. The gates were temporarily locked shut.
Initially surprised workers were mainly friendly - even pleased
to see us!- and had no love for "parent " company Scotts, who
are rumoured to be about to sell off the plant leaving workers
in the lurch. Several already knew about Scott's operations at
After a couple of hours' hanging around getting in the way, more
police showed up (it took an hour 4 the first ones 2 get there
despite the cop shop being literally 500 yards down the road!!)
and it was leave or get nicked time. We left, leaving one pretty
pissed- off manager who claimed to be missing a back- up computer
disc. we then went for a scramble around the ruins of Llangollen
castle...lovely. "actions- better than work!" "
- Bramford, nr Ipswich, Suffolk A group of 15 activists
arrived at Scotts Fertilizer plant at 9am. Unfortunately the security
were just securing the site after being notified of another action
in Corwen Wales two minutes before.
Four people rushed into the offices and two were evicted very
quickly. One managed to find his way into an office with a paper
'Scotts A Peat Strategy' on it but after barricading the front
door, the person whose office it was entered through the back
door. One managed to hide in an office and not get noticed, even
when the police searched the building, unfortunately the only
thing in there was archives.
One group closed and D-locked themselves to the exit gate, and
one group headed for the entrance gate, but couldn't lock it shut,
so entered the lorry yard. After one person clung to the underneath
of a lorry, most of the rest of the people were bundled out of
the yard. The lorry driver and his mate tried to use force to
remove the person clinging on and punched an activist who stood
in their way.
Outside the Entrance gate a lorry pulled up and was immediately
D-locked to underneath, starting the tail back process which had
up to twenty lorries in it with many more being turned away. The
blockade lasted for 3 hours, it took them about an hour to boltcropp
the activist from under the lorry free. The police then arrested
five people for aggravated trespass or obstruction of the highway.
Arriving at the site just after us was the director of the international
fertilizer division, Eric von Karthoven, who had traveled over
from Holland for a meeting. He was thoroughly grilled by campaign
- Hatfield Moors, South Yorkshire - Between 11.30 and 12.30,
15 activists arrived at Hatfield Moor, and spent the day carrying
out conservation work on the moor, including filling in drainage
ditches to prevent the moors drying out. There were no police,
so they just got on with it and left the moor around 5.00. They
then proceeded round to the front gates and stopped work in the
factory for about half an hour, leaving before the police turned
up because they were knackered.
Wedholme Flow, Cumbria. About 10 people spent the day
on the site of Scotts peat mine in Cumbria. There wasn't much
work going on to disrupt, so they decided that time was best
spent building dams to interfere with Scotts attempt to drain
the land ready for harvesting peat in the spring.
Goole, East Yorkshire - At around 11.30 two women entered
the offices of the Scotts fertilizer & pesticide manufacturing
facility, staying only to send a fax to Nick Kirkbride, UK Managing
Director at the Head Office in Godalming, announcing their presence
and opposition to Scotts involvement in peat extraction. At
the same time a set of gates were locked shut by other activists.
Text of the fax: Dear Nick By now you will know that sites
across the country are being targeted for demonstrations. This is
because of Scotts' involvement (or should that be "championing")
of peat extraction from rare raised bog habitats, in the UK and
You will have been aware of the enormous opposition to this practice
when you bought up the peat facilities. You have been involved in
negotiations around "Special Area of Conservation" status for Thorne,
Hatfield and Wedholme Flow & others, and have slowed them down at
every stage. You know you will be forced to stop sooner or later,
so GO PEAT-FREE NOW, while you can still save a shred of reputation
and there remains a chance to save the moors.