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NVZ designations - update from Defra

9th Feb 2017 / By Alistair Driver

Defra is re-sending NVZ designation notices to farmers it believes did not receive them in the initial tranches of letters sent out.

slurryNVZs, which are designated as being at risk from agricultural nitrate pollution and impose certain limits on storage and spreading of slurry and manure, include about 58 per cent of land in England.

The latest changes for 2017 to 2020, which came into force on January 1, have seen a number of new areas designated, while a similar overall area has been de-designated.

Defra is sending the notices informing farmers of changes to their designations for the 2017-2020 in the three tranches.

The first tranche was sent to farmers in the River Basin District, Dee, the North West, Severn and Solway Tweed regions. This was followed by a second tranche to farmers in the Anglian, South East, South West and Thames areas.

Farmers' agents

However, Defra said it was aware that some of these notices have been sent to farmers’ agents, not directly to the farmers themselves.

It added: "We are now issuing further notices to those in the first and second tranches who we believe were not sent a notice directly.

"The notice will replace any earlier one received by the farmer. Wording has been added to make clear that farmers should use the notice with the latest date."

Defra acknowledges that there will be some affected farmers for whom it does not have an address.

Farmers can check whether their farm falls within an NVZ and the evidence associated with the NVZ designation by using the What’s in your backyard tool.

If a farmer thinks the land they own or occupy is, or may be, in an NVZ but they have not received a notice, or is uncertain whether their land falls within an NVZ or has difficulty viewing the maps online, they or their adviser can contact the Environment Agency.  

Telephone: 03708 506 506 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm)


Farmers wishing to appeal have 28 days from the date of their notice. Farmers who have received a further notice relating to the same relevant holding should use the notice with the latest date in calculating the 28-day period.

Information on how to appeal is available here

Defra said it was reviewing arrangements for the third tranche of NVZ notices and will provide a further update in due course.