Key Dates, Rule changes and NVZ derogations

31st October

If you hold a summer water abstraction licence (authorising abstraction wholly within the months of April to October), the Environment Agency will make actual abstraction return forms available to you from 31st October. You then have 28 days to send your readings to the Environment Agency. (GAEC 2)

1st November

You can burn heather, rough grass, bracken, gorse or vaccinium on land, other than in upland areas, from this date. (GAEC 6)

26th November

Pesticide application equipment in use must be covered by a certificate issued by the National Sprayer Testing Scheme. 30th November. If you have a two-part tariff agreement for your water abstraction licence, you should expect to receive your second part charge after 30th November. (GAEC 2)

1st December

You need to carry out your annual inventory of sheep. (SMR 8)


The EA deadline of 30th December 2016 is fast approaching and we all know this time of year seems to fly by. To be eligible for a grassland derogation your holding must meet the following criteria:

· Over 80% of your land is grass

· You land must be within an NVZ A grassland derogation enables you to spread up to 250kg/ha of Nitrogen from manure of grazing livestock.

To apply you must contact the Environment Agency for a derogation.


GAEC 1 – Establishment of buffer strips along watercourses

From 1 January 2017, land parcels of 2 hectares or less next to watercourses will have to comply with the need to protect watercourses against pollution and run-off from agricultural sources, by maintaining buffer strips.

The following two rules apply:

You must take reasonable steps to maintain a green cover

You must not cultivate or apply fertilisers or pesticides

This will apply to all land:

Within two metres of the centre of a watercourse

With a field ditch from the edge of a watercourse

With a field ditch to one metre on the landward side of the top of the bank

If you have any queries or concerns on any of the above or any other cross compliance issue, we can help.

Please contact Carol Johnson 01434 607 028 or 07753693111

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