Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZs)
NVZs are areas within EU countries where nitrate regulations apply. For a map of the NVZs in England click here.
Nitrogen needs to be regulated in the environment because in its mineral form it is highly soluble and makes its way readily into watercourses if not taken up by plant growth.
| Where water bodies have been polluted by Nitrogen or other nutrients, it causes algae in the water to ‘bloom’ and shut out light from submerged plants that use light to oxygenate the water.
Fish and other creatures in the water therefore die and the water body becomes void of macroorganisms. This is a process called Eutrophication. Nitrogen pollution has also been linked to human health problems where drinking water has been contaminated.
The Nitrates Directive seeks to limit Nitrogen in ground and surface waters throughout the European Union. This has been implemented in the UK by a series of nitrate regulations.
The latest enactment in England was the Nitrate Pollution Prevention Regulations 2008 which extended NVZs to 62% of the country and introduced stricter controls on the use of Nitrogen in agriculture from 1st January 2009.
The Environment Agency monitors compliance, and has published guidance with DEFRA.
BPEX have produced two calculators to help pig farmers calculate their manure spreading/deposition areas and slurry storage requirements, they can be downloaded below.
(Please note, when you open the spreadsheet please disable the macro for it to work)
One is for all-in all-out production: all-in all-out systems
One is for continuous throughput: continuous throughput systems
*Please note: if you have an old version of Excel you may experience difficulties when trying to view these calculators. We hope to upload another version shortly which should overcome this problem. In the meantime, if you would like assistance please contact Nigel Penlington on 0247 647 8797.