Union Successful in Influencing Amendments to Water Environment Regulations

Following pressure from NFU Scotland, the Scottish Government has made changes to the Controlled Activities Regulations (CAR) related to activities that could affect the water environment

Initial proposals had suggested that farmers could not apply fertiliser if heavy rain was forecast within 48 hours.  However, lobbying from NFU Scotland has seen that timescale reduced to 24 hours.

With many members also concerned about flooding and riverbank erosion, NFU Scotland has also welcomed changes to General Binding Rules which will allow farmers to use trees, parts of trees and stone to protect banks without necessarily requiring prior permission from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) provided they follow certain conditions.

Angus MacFadyen, NFU Scotland Environment and Land Use Chairman, said: “Given the changeable weather we experience in Scotland, the original 48-hour timeframe for spreading fertiliser before heavy rain was to too difficult for our members to adhere to whilst still managing to effectively improve the fertility of their ground. The amendment to just a day’s lay time is a sensible compromise.

“We are encouraged by the introduction of the General Binding Rule (GBR) 25, which will allow members looking to use trees (or parts of trees) to avoid flooding from rivers, burns or ditches on their land.

“The new GBR means that farmers, crofters, and land managers no longer need to apply to SEPA before implementing these flood prevention measures. It is also useful that there is scope to use stones to shore up such river bank engineering.

The changes to CAR will also see a tightening up of the regulations around the storage and handling of liquid digestate, liquid sewage sludge and inorganic liquid fertiliser as well as regulations around the storage of dewatered digestate or dewatered sewage sludge.

“These are small, detailed changes but they could make a big difference to our members, so I urge them to visit or go to the members area of our website and download Business Guide 03/18

Notes to the Editor


Contact Douglas Ross on 0131 472 4006

Author: Douglas Ross

Date Published:

News Article No.: 07/18

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