Natural England
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Free NVZ workshops for South West farmers

A series of Nitrate Vulnerable Zone (NVZ) workshops for farmers are being held across the South West this autumn as part of the Soils for Profit Project.

The Soils for Profit Project is managed by Natural England in partnership with the Environment Agency and provides advice and support to farmers on ways in which farm profits and the environment can benefit from improved soil management.

The free sessions are designed to help farmers and land managers comply with Nitrate Pollution Prevention Regulations (2008), including the requirement to put in place adequate slurry storage provision by in place by 1 January 2012. Each workshop will be delivered by experts to a small group of farmers and will provide practical advice on a variety of topics including calculating nitrogen values; advice on storing organic manures and how, when and where to apply fertilizer and organic manure.

Over 30 NVZ workshops are planned across the region between October and December with follow-up support provided after each event via a dedicated helpline.

Steve Marston, Soils for Profit Project Manager said: ‘‘Time is running out to comply with the full set of NVZ regulations. By providing practical advice and individual support, the free workshops on offer will help farmers to comply with existing regulations and also get ready for the new regulations, which come into force on 1 January 2012. Our experienced advisers will talk farmers through all the requirements around NVZs and how suitable measures can be applied on each farm, and also refer to other sources of support such as Catchment Sensitive Farming or a Soils for Profit farm advisory visit if appropriate.’’

Alongside the NVZ workshops being planned this autumn, the Soils for Profit Project is also running a series 35 workshops during the autumn on how to use the PLANET computer program for nutrient management, which also helps with the calculations required under NVZ regulations. In addition, 35 ‘Farming More Precisely’ events are being held, looking at how to manage manures and nutrients more precisely with a view to improving productivity.

For further details on the NVZ and PLANET workshops and Farming More Precisely events including dates, venues and how to book a place visit www.naturalengland.org.uk/farmeventsexternal link

Notes to Editors:

For further information (media enquiries only), please contact: Christine White, Natural England press office on 0300 0601302 or 07900 608017.

For out of hours queries please call the Duty Press Officer 07970 098005 

Soils for Profit
The Soils for Profit Project is one element of the South West Agricultural Resource Management (SWARM) initiative. It is open to all farming businesses in the region with over 5 hectares of land. SWARM is designed to help farmers have more profitable and resilient businesses by managing resources more efficiently whilst reducing the impact of their activities on the environment.

Nitrate Pollution Prevention Regulations
The Nitrate Pollution Prevention Regulations were introduced in 2008 to implement the European Community’s Nitrates Directive to reduce nitrogen losses from agriculture to water. Farms in areas where pollution by nitrates is a problem, designated
Nitrate Vulnerable Zonesexternal link (NVZs), must comply with certain farming practices to minimise pollution.

About Natural England
Natural England is the government’s independent adviser on the natural environment. Established in 2006 our work is focused on enhancing England’s wildlife and landscapes and maximising the benefits they bring to the public.

  • We establish and care for England’s main wildlife and geological sites, ensuring that over 4,000 National Nature Reserves and Sites of Special Scientific Interest are looked after and improved. 

  • We work to ensure that England’s landscapes are effectively protected, designating England’s National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Marine Conservation Zones, and advising widely on their conservation. 

  • We run Environmental Stewardship and other green farming schemes that deliver over £400 million a year to farmers and landowners, enabling them to enhance the natural environment across two thirds of England’s farmland. 

  • We fund, manage, and provide scientific expertise for hundreds of conservation projects each year, improving the prospects for thousands of England’s species and habitats. 

  • We promote access to the wider countryside, helping establish National Trails and coastal trails and ensuring that the public can enjoy and benefit from them.