A tree native to mountainous regions from North America to Asia, cedar is known for its strong properties. There are many species of cedar but western red is commonly used for gardening purposes.
- Whilst native to areas outside of the UK, the species was introduced to Britain, planted in the UK for timber. British red cedar wood will be locally sourced and reduce emissions in terms of transport.
- Whilst some species of cedar are endanger, the western red cedar in Britain is not.
- The wood is durable and naturally resistant to fungi, due to natural preservatives.
- Cedar woods can be found FSC certified.
- The wood is usually reasonably priced.
- Imported red cedar tends to be more durable than locally sourced, but not by too much. Imports will also have more impact on the environment due to the amount they will travel.
- Cedar imported from non-certified sources and from abroad may have further environmental impacts, threatening habitats along with indigenous cultures.
The upper layer of soil which is high in minerals and organic matter. This is created over time as rocks and organic matter break down over time. In gardening, soils which are better for plant growth can be purchased to incorporate into a garden. There are different types of topsoil, from their quality to their origin, be that natural, or manufactured (blending components together to achieve topsoil). Organic topsoil is a key component of sustainable gardening.
- Topsoil is easily purchased, being available from a variety of places. (ref)
- Topsoils can be sourced from brownfield sites, (ref) this takes a waste product from development and ensures it is used again.
- It is possible to obtain third party certified soil, ensuring its quality. (ref)
- Natural topsoils are becoming more scarce, (ref) which means that blended, manufactured topsoils are needed to replace this.
- Topsoils which originate from agricultural land may have chemicals already in them, (ref) which may impact the ability of plants to grow.
- Greenfield sites can also be used to source topsoils, (ref) this can impact nature and habitats a lot more than brownfield sites do.
- Manufactured topsoils can use sand, (ref) depending on the sourcing of the sand, it may contribute to the ongoing sand crisis.
Topsoil is vital for allowing plant growth and supporting life. Certified and brownfield soil sources can be an environmentally friendly option to improving or replacing soil, however, greenfield soils and manufactured may have more of an environmental issue. To improve soil quality, Organic Fertilisers may offer an alternative.