Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland
This guidance is for farmers who spread:
In Northern Ireland all farmers must comply with rules under the Nitrate Action Programme Regulations and the Phosphorous Regulations.
In Scotland find out whether you are within a Nitrate Vulnerable Zone (NVZ). If you are within an NVZ you will need to follow certain rules, such as limiting the amount of organic and inorganic nitrogen fertiliser you use and keeping records.
You must not let livestock slurry, silage effluent or manure enter rivers, streams or other watercourses. If you allow polluting effluent to enter surface waters or groundwater you may be committing a pollution offence.
In Scotland you must not apply slurry or organic fertilisers:
You must not apply livestock slurry on frozen land.
In January 2018 some changes were made to diffuse pollution regulations that may impact on the activities of your business.
In summary, the changes to the regulations mean that the following activities are now covered by General Binding Rules (GBRs).
• The storage, transfer and application of slurry, manure and other fertilisers to land
• The storage and application of digestates and sewage sludge to land
• The use of plant protection products by all application methods
• The use of herbicides in or near to water to control invasive species
• The operation of sheep handling facilities when using pour on chemicals
• Specific types of work carried out to protect river banks from erosion
• The storage of agricultural fuel oil
A manure management plan will help you decide when and where to spread your organic manures. It should take into account slope, watercourses, drainage, soil type, crop type and rainfall. The codes of good agricultural practice will help you develop a manure management plan.
In Northern Ireland, see section 3 of the DAERA code of good agricultural practice for water, air and soil.
The NIEA has produced a leaflet about the problems caused by ammonia emissions and what can be done to reduce them.
In Scotland, see section 4 of the Prevention of Environmental Pollution from Agricultural Activity (PEPFAA) Code and the 4 Point Plan.
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The codes of good agricultural practice also provide general advice on how to prevent nitrates and phosphorous leaching from your fields into the water environment.
In Northern Ireland:
The Northern Ireland Environment Agency has published a short guide to the duty of care responsibilities including advice and information for waste producers, carriers and those accepting, storing and treating waste.
Any person intending to alter the use or management of areas of uncultivated or semi-natural land must obtain prior approval from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).
Read more on the DAERA website
The NetRegs team at SEPA, in partnership with The Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Natural Resources Wales and a number of industry bodies have produced 9 new GPPs to replace out of date PPGs. More are coming! Check the available topics
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