Tatton MP, Esther McVey, and Macclesfield MP, David Rutley, have met with Cheshire Wildlife Trust to learn more about peatland restoration. The two MPs met with Trust staff at Dane’s Moss Nature Reserve in order to see the restoration work that is taking place onsite and how it plays a role in nature’s recovery.
Esther McVey commented:
“Given the importance of peatlands nationally and the need to restore Lindow Moss in Wilmslow, I was pleased to meet the Trust and talk in more detail about peatlands and the effect of HS2 on Cheshire wildlife.”
The Trust has been rewetting the land in order to help replenish soils which have been damaged by peat extraction. Much of the work involves ensuring that the water on site is retained and contaminated water is reduced. Such management allows for the growth of sphagnum moss the first stage towards building up carbon-rich peat soil.
Peatland is increasingly recognised as one way to combat the climate crisis, yet very few of Cheshire’s peatland sites remain intact. Over the years, many have suffered from intensive extraction and development, destroying both wildlife habitat and a valuable source of carbon storage. The problem is only set to be exacerbated by HS2 which is set to further fragment the regions peatland landscapes.
James Melling the Trust’s Campaigns Officer commented:
“Peatlands have a huge role to play in tackling the current ecological and climate emergency and yet many are in poor condition. It’s easy for people to recognise the value of planting large groups of trees but people don’t have that same understanding when it comes to peat.
We need to protect and restore peatland areas because they are important in fighting climate change and preventing biodiversity loss, yet peat extraction still goes on today. A really simple way the public can help is by going peat-free at home. Switching to a peat-free compost is one way we can protect and restore the peatlands we have left.”
More advice on going peat-free at home can be found at: https://www.cheshirewildlifetrust.org.uk/actions/how-go-peat-free-your-garden.