Areas such as Lindow Moss look set to be protected after Government confirmed it will consult on allowing peat to be used for domestic purposes.
Tatton MP Esther McVey has been calling for answers for months over future sales to ensure peatlands across Cheshire are protected.
Ms McVey said: “From conversations I have had with ministers and now clarification from the Environment Minister Rebecca Pow it would seem Government will ban sale of peat for domestic use. The Government gave the industry time to find alternatives and said unless an alternative was found it would have to legislate and it would appear no solution was provided. I am pleased there is now some certainty as from conversations I am having locally it seems very little has changed and there are still significant concerns about large quantities of peat being bought and used for domestic use.”
If healthy peatlands work as a 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 wildlife and for people to enjoy it helps tackle climate change. Damaged peatlands lose their ability to remove CO2 and instead release it back into the atmosphere.
Ms Pow said Government will launch a formal consultation into what measures are needed to stop private sale.
She said: “We are committed to phasing out the use of peat in horticulture in England. The biggest user of peat is the amateur sector, and this is an important part of our policy focus. We signalled to the industry that if we have not seen sufficient movement to peat alternatives by 2020, then we would look at further measures that could be taken. We are working towards publishing a formal consultation this year on further measures to end the use of horticultural peat.”
Ms McVey said she will now be asking more questions to ensure the consultation is launched soon and not subject to unnecessary delays.