Chesham and Amersham MP Cheryl Gillan has called for air quality protections for the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Mrs Gillan spoke out about her concerns about air pollution in Buckinghamshire during a debate on air quality in the final few days of the 2015 to 2017 Parliament.

The MP suggested the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is a notable example of an environmentally sensitive area which should have air quality protections.

Mrs Gillan told the Commons: “It's not just people but sensitive landscapes, such as the Chilterns, that should not only be protected but positively recognised for its role in the battle against poor air quality, including harnessing the potential of our trees and ancient woodlands.”

The call for air quality protection was recognised by Secretary of State for DEFRA, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Andrea Leadsom MP.

She said: “Mrs Gillan always speaks very strongly for the Chilterns and she is right to do so, it is a beautiful area.

“Air quality is vital for humans and for our lovely landscapes. To preserve the contributions that our trees and peat lands can make to that is an important priority.”

The MP for Amersham and Chesham argued later that the location of the Chilterns makes air quality even more of a concern for the Buckinghamshire beauty spot.

“The Chilterns is the closest AONB to London and as such it contributes hugely to air quality,” she added.

“Although expansion at Heathrow Airport will be welcome economic news for my constituents, I have also expressed caution because of the potential for environmental damage, which would include the air quality concerns.

“This needs to be balanced as a minus against the economic pluses.

“Giving added protection to areas which help to repair any environmental damage would strengthen them at a time when they are under pressure.”