21 December 2001
Nitrate curbs ‘planned for all of UK’

By FWi staff

PROPOSALS to limit the amount of fertiliser and manure farmers can use are in the pipeline for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, reports the Daily Telegraph.

It follows plans, revealed by the government on Thursday (20 December), to designate most or even all of England as a Nitrate Vulnerable Zone.

Environment minister Michael Meacher said restrictions were necessary because the European Court had ruled Britain is not implementing the 1991 Water Directive fully.

Fines levied for non-compliance were currently running at 50 million a year, leaving the government with little choice but to introduce measures, he said.

The paper reports the cost of implementing the new controls for the whole country could be as much as 31 million.

Even if controls are only implemented in those areas where waters already have a high nitrate concentration the cost could be 23m.