PEATLANDS across Cheshire must be protected as they act as natural carbon capture, says Tatton MP Esther McVey.

Ms McVey fears peatlands have become destroyed through overuse, in turn damaging the habitat for wildlife, its role in water management and eradicating the environmental benefits.

She has asked the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what it is doing to protect local peatlands and whether the Government has any plans to ban the sale of peat for general use.

Ms McVey said: “Across the area we have scientifically and historically significant areas of peatland, which needs protecting as it has huge ecological and environmental benefits.

“If peatland habitats are healthy they work as natural carbon capture and storage, in that it holds large stocks of carbon and it can get more from the atmosphere too.

“As well as being beautiful places for our wildlife and for people to enjoy it helps tackle climate change.”

She said according to scientific experts globally peatlands accounted for three per cent of the world’s land area but held more than 30 per cent of the global carbon store and had the potential to be a natural solution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Damaged peatlands lose their ability to remove CO2 and instead release it back into the atmosphere.