Welsh farmers have one month to challenge NVZ zones

Farmers affected by the latest rounds of proposed nitrate vulnerable zones designations in Wales have just a month to issue a challenge.

After considering consultation responses to the NVZ review and recommendations by the Environment Agency, the Welsh Government has decided which areas it wants to designate and has contacted every farmer affected.

Unions have stressed the urgency of farmers checking whether there are grounds for an appeal before the 9 July deadline.

Where land falls within an NVZ, the regulations set out good agricultural practices which farmers need to implement to protect the quality of water resources.

Some of these statutory measures include controlling the dates and conditions under which nitrogen fertiliser and organic materials are spread and having sufficient facilities for storage of manures and slurries.

Farmers in these zones are also expected to control application methods and to keep records.

The Farmers’ Union of Wales said farmers have the right to appeal against proposed designations. These will be determined independently by the Planning Inspectorate Wales.

The final NVZ designations and the revised action programme will be published in the autumn, with the regulations coming into force on 1 January next year.

Anglesey farmer Gavin Williams, who chairs the FUW’s land use and parliamentary committee, urged farmers affected to check their designation.

“These designations will either affect land which has not previously been designated or continue an existing designation. Anyone wishing to appeal must do so no later than Monday,  9 July,” said Mr Williams.

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