Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland
You may need a qualification called a certificate of competence if you use agricultural pesticides.
Read section 2 of the code for using plant protection products to find out if you need a certificate of competence.
In Scotland you must make sure that your pesticide application equipment is tested when five years old. Rucksacks and handheld sprayers are exempt. From 26 November 2015 Grandfather Rights expire (they may have applied if you spray on your own or your employers land) and pesticide spraying must always be carried out by someone with the appropriate certificate.
You must contact your environmental regulator at least 72 hours before you start aerial spraying if you are applying pesticide to land that is within 250 metres of a watercourse.
You must contact the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) , Scottish Natural Heritage at least 72 hours before you spray pesticide to land that is protected as, or is within 1,500m of:
Before you spray pesticide, you must also notify:
You must have approval from your environmental regulator before using herbicides on aquatic weeds or weeds on the banks of watercourses such as rivers, ditches, lakes or lochs.
Pesticide must not be applied within 1m of any river, burn, ditch, wetland, loch, transitional or coastal water unless:
For certain pesticides that you apply using ground crop sprayers or broadcast air-assisted sprayers you need to maintain a 5m buffer strip between the area you spray and watercourses. You will need to fill in a Local Environmental Risk Assessment for Pesticides (LERAP) form for your spray records, to show what you have sprayed and the size of the buffer strip. If you want to reduce the width of this strip you will also need to carry out and record the results of a LERAP.
The HSE provides a database of pesticides (includes herbicides, fungicides, molluscicides etc.) where you can find:
and a wide range of other information relating to pesticide use.
Northern Ireland: Code of Agricultural Practice for the Prevention of pollution of Water, Air and Soil
Scotland: Prevention of Environmental Pollution from Agricultural Activities PEPFAA code 2005
Scotland: PEPFAA DOs and DON'Ts guide
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