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Nutrient management, Nitrate Vulnerable Zones

8th Dec 2016

Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZs) are areas designated as being at risk from agricultural nitrate pollution. They include about 58% of land in England. Defra reviews NVZs every 4 years to account for changes in water pollution.

NVZs for 2017 to 2020 start on 1 January 2017. They include new areas of NVZs, and exclude areas that have been de-designated.

Find out if your land is in an NVZ

Use the What’s in your backyard? map to find out if your land is in an NVZ . You can print a map of your local area using this tool. This tool is continually updated to show any changes to NVZ designations.

Your farm may be completely or partly in an NVZ. An NVZ boundary is drawn around whole fields, so there are no fields that are only partly in an NVZ. Restrictions apply for each field on your farm that’s in an NVZ.

The NVZs method statement shows how the NVZs were decided for the 2017 to 2020 designation. The National Environment and Agricultural Procedure - Nitrate (Neap-N) report gives the estimates of average nitrate leached from agricultural land used in the analysis.

If you can’t print a map from What’s in your backyard then contact the Environment Agency.

Telephone: 03708 506 506 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm) [email protected]

Designation notices

Defra will be sending written notices in early 2017 to any person who owns or occupies land completely or partly within an NVZ. This tells the owner or occupier of the designation and their need to comply with NVZ rules.

Help and Advice

Contact the Farming Advice Service for more information on using nitrogen fertilisers and manures in NVZs and other requirements of cross compliance.

Telephone: 0345 345 1302 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm)[email protected]