Farmers across England will need to comply with the new ‘Farming Rules for Water’ when they come into force next month.
From 2nd April, DEFRA is setting good farming practices into legislation, which will be regulated and legally enforced by the Environment Agency.
The new rules have been introduced to ensure farmers manage their land to avoid water pollution and benefit their business.
Gareth Lay, associate at Bruton Knowles in Shrewsbury, said: “In recent years, agricultural pollution has been on the rise. Agricultural intensification has had a direct impact on water quality through the release of nutrients and other chemicals into watercourses.
“Research suggests that in the UK around 60 per cent of nitrates and 25 per cent of phosphorus in water bodies are estimated to have come from farming and agricultural sources.”
The ‘Farming Rules for Water’ covers eight main areas, including planning use of manure and fertilisers, storing organic manures, applying manure or fertilisers, where not to apply organic manures, where not to apply fertiliser, reasonable precautions to prevent soil erosion, protection against soil erosion by livestock, and positioning of livestock feeders.
Gareth said farmers can apply for funding to ensure they comply with the new rules.
“Funding can be accessed through the Countryside Stewardship, within the mid-tier under Water Grants,” he said.
“The funding available can contribute towards items such as resurfacing gateways, concreting yards and inputting of hardstanding tracks, which Bruton Knowles are more than happy to assist with regards to applications.”