“All farmers affected by the proposed changes to Nitrate Vulnerable Zone (NVZ) boundaries should have recently received notification of this from Defra” says Brian Dinnis of leading agents Acorn Rural Property Consultants.
The review of NVZ boundaries will either designate land that has not previously been designated or continue an existing designation. In the past, farmers have had three months to appeal against an NVZ designation. However, this time around the appeal period has been reduced to 28 days commencing the date of the letter providing notice of a designation.
Farmers who have not yet done so should check if their land is to be identified as an NVZ. Appeals against designations can be made if land does not drain to the water identified or the water designated is not polluted. However, the process requires supporting evidence to be submitted with appeals so there is a need to act quickly.
Included among the statutory requirements that apply where land falls within an NVZ, farmers need to keep detailed records, risk maps and comply with whole farm and crop nitrogen limits, and adhere to rules concerning the storage and application of manure and slurry.
“It is imperative that farmers already in NVZs are compliant with the regulations and that those who will be affected by the new designations are prepared for the changes. The implications of non-compliance can lead to fines and financial penalties against single payment claims”, adds Dinnis.
For further advice or information on NVZ regulations please contact Brian Dinnis or John Dawe-Lane at Acorn Rural Property Consultants on 01884 214052.