2 February 1996

Boundary designation too arbitrary – claim

DESIGNATION of nitrate vulnerable zone boundaries is too arbitrary.

That is the view of dairy producer Chris Pain, who farms 23ha (58 acres) at Cotes, Staffs. Mr Pain has had one application to have his land removed from the Swynnerton nitrate vulnerable zone turned down and is preparing to appeal again.

For him inclusion in the Swynnerton NVZ could mean having to reduce his 54-cow herd to 42 and changing from a policy of rearing his own replacements to buying in stock. This will increase costs and the likelihood of disease.

"The zone takes in six water sources but only about half the land within this zone drains into polluted sources. Our appeal is based on the fact that our land drains into the Mill Meece borehole, which has a nitrate level of only 30mg/ml, well below the proposed maximum limit of 50mg/ml.

"This water source is not polluted and the only reason for its inclusion is to blend with polluted water. We are not polluting anything so why have we been included?" &#42

Chris Pain is appealing against his inclusion in the Swynnerton NVZ, which will force him to cut his herd size and buy replacements.