A new methodology for determining the boundaries of NVZs is being introduced and so the boundaries of Scotland’s four existing NVZs will be changed to fully or partially remove 2,212 farms from NVZ designated areas from February 2, 2015.
The new methodology will also result in the introduction of two new NVZs at Pilanton in South West Scotland and Finavon in Angus. The new designations, affecting around 130 farms, will come into effect in early 2016.
For more information on NVZs see http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/farmingrural/Agriculture/Environment/NVZintro
On the changes to NVZs, Mr Lochhead said:
“Scotland has a magnificent natural environment which is intrinsic to the success of our world famous food and drink, and tourism sectors. We must therefore do all we can to protect the quality of our water. Scotland’s approach to protecting our water environment is already admired by many countries, and the action taken so far by Scottish farmers – in partnership with the Scottish Government, our agencies and other stakeholders – has already led to improvements in practices affecting water quality.
“The changes I am announcing today will enable us to build on the progress made so far whilst, at the same time, reducing Scotland’s NVZ areas by 24 per cent. My officials will shortly be writing to the 2,212 farm businesses coming out of current NVZs, to inform them of the update and any action they need to take – as well as writing to the 130 or so farms coming into the new NVZ areas in 2016 explaining the support and training on offer. Although water quality is improving across Scotland we cannot afford to rest on our laurels. Every farmer must continue to do their best to minimise nitrate and diffuse pollution as we implement these new NVZ regulations in tandem with Scotland’s greenest ever Common Agricultural Policy.”