Agriculture provides wildlife habitats, a well-loved landscape and a place for recreation but it also has some less desirable impacts on the environment.

We regulate farming through regimes such as Nitrate Vulnerable Zone (NVZ) compliance, water abstraction licences, discharge consents and farm waste regulations.

Further information, including Environmental Permitting guidance, is available according to your farming sector.

If your farm has a private sewage treatment system or makes any other discharges to water, you may require an environmental permit. For more details please visit the following web page:

If you are looking for information about the design, construction and maintenance of safe storage facilities for silage, slurry and agricultural fuel oil, please visit the following page:

  • What is agricultural waste?

    Agricultural waste is any substance or object from premises used for agriculture or horticulture, which the holder discards, intends to discard or is required to discard. It is waste specifically generated by agricultural activities.

  • Arable

    The UK is the fourth largest producer of cereal and oilseeds in Europe. Cereals are grown on over 70,000 farms, mainly along the drier east side of the UK. We also grow around nine million tonnes of sugar beet

  • Dairy and beef

    Around 42,300 beef and dairy farms in England and Wales manage over 160,000 square kilometres of land

  • Energy crops

    Energy crops are plants grown to use as fuel

  • Environmental Permitting for intensive farming (pigs and poultry)

    Pig and poultry production is a vital part of UK agriculture and accounts for around one fifth of total agricultural output.

  • Sheep

    With a national flock of 25 million sheep and lambs, Britain is one of the major sheep producers in Europe and the seventh largest lamb producer in the world. Our sheep farmers also produce 70 thousand tonnes of wool each year.

  • Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZs)

    The Nitrates Directive is implemented by separate regulations in England and Wales. These regulations designate areas of land draining into waters polluted by nitrates from agriculture as Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZs).

  • The Water Resources (Silage, Slurry and Agricultural Fuel Oil) Regulations 2010 (SSAFO)

    These regulations aim to prevent water pollution from stores of silage, slurry and agricultural fuel oil.

  • Good practice

    There are a variety of things farmers can do to make their business more efficient and greener. Find out more about what you can do.