Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Look after soil


Prevent soil compaction

This allows air and water to move deep into the soil, allowing healthy root development and encouraging healthy plant growth.

  • Reduce axel loads where possible
  • Avoid vehicles accessing fields after heavy rain or
    if soils are waterlogged
  • Be aware of the impacts that animals can have by
    trampling certain areas.

DAERA: Soil Structure and avoiding compaction

Farming and Water Scotland: Soil and nutrients

Farming for a better climate: Valuing your soils


Make sure you have the correct pH for your soil

The correct pH level for your soil will allow the uptake of fertilisers by plants, improving yields.

  • Think about soil sampling and liming
  • Less uptake of nutrients means poorer crops and agreater risk of diffuse pollution from the farm land

DAERA: Soil sampling

Farming and Water Scotland: Soil and pH


Get the correct nutrient balance

  • Create a nutrient budget for your farm; regular soil testing will help target nutrients where needed.
  • Consider application methods, for example to avoid losing nitrogen when applying slurry.

DAERA: Soil sampling

Farming and Water Scotland: Nutrient balances


Landspreading organic fertilisers

  • You must be aware of the rules that govern the use of certain wastes, such as paper sludge or food waste.
  • You should also be familiar with the rules for the use of slurries and manure
  • Organic fertilisers such as slurry and manure can provide valuable nutrients and can improve soil texture.

NetRegs: Landspreading waste

NetRegs: Landspreading slurry and manure

WRAP UK: Renewable fertiliser matrix tool

NFUS and Zero Waste Scotland: Sourcing and using digestate and compost. 


In this Guideline:

Look after your soil

Protect water

Care for animals

Manage your crops

Manage waste

Make use of buildings

Machinery, equipment and fuel

Protect biodiversity

Small scale forestry

Management tools

Dealing with emergencies

Further information - support and useful websites

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