Revisions to Scotlands Nitrate Vulnerable Zones

UK - New rules to strengthen protection for the water environment were proposed today.
calendar icon 17 November 2006
clock icon 3 minute read
Revisions to the Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZs)Action Programme are out for consultation, affecting the four NVZs in Scotland.

The proposed revisions include:
  • Revised limits on the quantity of nitrogen fertiliser applied to all farm land in NVZs,
  • Changes to closed periods when the spreading of certain nitrogen fertilisers on land is prohibited. This would include an extension to all soil types,
  • Changes to the rules on storage capacity for livestock manures, including a minimum six months storage for intensive pig and poultry units,
  • Measures to encourage the efficient use of fertilisers and to reduce the risks of them getting into the water environment.
Environment Minister Ross Finnie said:

"We have already done a lot of work with the farming industry to protect our natural resources and minimise nitrate pollution. That will continue, and I am clear that much of what we are proposing is already well established as good practice in the Nitrate Vulnerable Zones. I hope everyone with an interest will make their views known through the consultation."

The legislation on NVZs requires a review, and if necessary, a revision of the action programme measures at least every four years, taking account of available scientific and technical data. The proposed changes are consistent with the Code of Practice on the Prevention of Environmental Pollution From Agricultural Activity (the PEPFAA Code), and are designed to increase the effectiveness of the action programme in protecting the water environment.

The four NVZs in Scotland are:
  • an area of Aberdeenshire, Moray, Banff and Buchan
  • an area of Strathmore and Fife
  • an area of Lothian and Borders
  • Lower Nithsdale

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