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Scotland: Dumfries and Galloway Bathing Water Catchments and Slurry Grants

Wed 26 May 2021

SEPA are encouraging farmers across Dumfries and Galloway bathing water catchments (Southerness, Sandyhills, Rockcliffe, Dhoon Bay, Brighouse Bay, Carrick and Mossyard) to follow these simple practical steps throughout the forthcoming bathing water season (1st June to 15th September) to reduce their potential impact on water quality:

SLURRY SPREADING

Please ensure no slurry is spread within 10m of any river, burn or open ditch.

Before applying slurry, please check the weather forecast for predicted heavy rain within 48hrs of proposed spreading. If heavy rain is forecast, please delay slurry spreading by a day or two to reduce the potential for field run off and water pollution.  

MAINTAINING WATER COURSE BOUNDARIES

Check livestock fences and boundaries along ditches, burns and rivers in grazing fields to ensure they are fully maintained.

Repair any openings stock could access. This minimises the potential of livestock poaching within 5m of the ditch, burn or river and reduces the risk of polluting run-off getting to the water.

STEADING DRAINAGE

Check contaminated drainage (slurry) can’t access surface water drains around the steading.

Key areas to check are drainage/seepage from bedded sheds, cattle walkways, handling areas or yards used periodically during the summer months.

Ensure clean roof and yard water are kept separate from dirty yards. 

With COVID-19 restrictions easing, SEPA staff are being deployed back out into the field to engage face-to-face with farmers especially around areas of non-compliance on their units. They are looking for practical, low-cost measures which can easily be implemented quickly to resolve potential and sometimes on-going pollution. Please contact nationalrural@sepa.org.uk for further advice or guidance.

AECS SLURRY GRANTS

The AECS scheme is open until the 30th June 2021 for applications to provide funding for slurry provision in priority water catchment areas.

The aim of the slurry grants are to improve water quality and help mitigate climate change by ensuring sufficient slurry storage capacity is available on farm (six-month storage is a legal requirement for the construction of any new or substantially enlarged slurry stores). Sufficient slurry storage means slurry is available to spread at optimal times, which can result in considerable savings in fertiliser costs, as well as reducing the likelihood of having to spread slurry when ground conditions are poor.

The grant funding is on a standard cost basis and can provide up to £30,000 towards the provision of slurry storage. There is also additional funding towards lockable valves; pipe assembly; over-the-rim pipe with jetting nozzles; galvanized ladder and platform; tractor driven slurry pumps and reception tanks. The total funding available being approx. £45,000.

The funding is also available to assist with the replacement of pre-1991 slurry stores.

Scottish Government are currently consulting on a River Basin Management Plan for the whole of Scotland which could see NVZ style rules introduced, requiring every farm that produces slurry to have a minimum of 22-wks storage. In addition to this, the exemption that per-1991 slurry stores currently have from SSAFO regulations could also be removed.

Anyone in a priority catchment area who does not have at least 22 weeks slurry storage and / or has pre-1991 slurry storage should consider looking at the slurry grant to increase / update the slurry storage on farm.

Please contact youngsRPS for more details.