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The Nitrate Sensitive Areas Regulations 1994

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2.—(1) In these Regulations, unless the context otherwise requires:

  • “agriculture” includes horticulture, fruit growing, seed growing, dairy farming, livestock breeding and keeping and freshwater fish farming, the use of land as grazing land, osier land, reed beds, market gardens and nursery grounds, and “agricultural” shall be construed accordingly;

  • “autumn sown” in relation to cereals or oilseed rape means a variety of cereals or oilseed rape normally sown between 31st July in one year and 1st January in the following year;

  • “basic scheme” means the scheme under which a farmer gives the Minister the undertakings set out in Schedules 2 and 3;

  • “controlled waters” means the waters referred to in section 104(1) of the Water Resources Act 1991(1);

  • “cover crop” means a crop sown primarily in order to take up nitrogen from the soil;

  • “crop requirement” means the amount of nitrogen in the form of inorganic nitrogen fertiliser applied in any year, such that if extra inorganic nitrogen fertiliser were applied in that year, having regard to the crop in question and the characteristics of the land on which it was planted and taking account of any applications of organic manure, the cost of that fertiliser would be greater than the value of the additional crop produced;

  • “farmer” means a person who has an interest in agricultural land in a nitrate sensitive area or is a party to a share farming agreement in respect of land in a nitrate sensitive area;

  • “grassland” means land on which the vegetation consists predominantly of grass species;

  • “holding” means land which is occupied as a unit for agricultural purposes;

  • “inorganic nitrogen fertiliser” means material containing nitrogen, in which the main function of the nitrogen is to provide plant food, and in which the nitrogen is in the form of inorganic salts obtained by any process including extraction, physical industrial processes, chemical industrial processes, or a combination of any or all of these, and includes calcium cyanamide, and urea and its condensation products;

  • “intensive grassland” means grassland which receives more than 250kg per hectare of nitrogen in the form of inorganic nitrogen fertiliser in any year;

  • “livestock unit” means—


    6.66 sheep,


    6.66 goats,


    one bovine animal more than two years old,


    1.66 bovine animals from six months old to two years old inclusive, or


    one horse or pony more than six months old, or


    4.35 farmed deer;

  • “the Minister” means the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food;

  • “nitrate sensitive area” means any of the areas referred to in Schedule 1 and more particularly shown coloured pink on the maps contained in the volume of maps marked “Volume of maps of Nitrate Sensitive Areas” dated, signed and sealed by the Minister and deposited at the offices of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, London SW1P 3JR;

  • “nitrogen fertiliser” means inorganic nitrogen fertiliser and organic nitrogen fertiliser;

  • “organic nitrogen fertiliser” means animal manure, sewage sludge or any other organic products containing nitrogen, but excluding calcium cyanamide, and urea and its condensation products;

  • “original occupier” shall be construed in accordance with regulation 13(1)(c);

  • “original undertakings” shall be construed in accordance with regulation 12(1)(a);

  • “permanent crop” means any non-rotational crop (other than permanent pasture) which occupies the ground for five years or longer and which yields repeated harvests;

  • “permanent grassland” includes moorland, rough grazing, pasture, and any other land which has been in grass for more than five years on 31st December 1991;

  • “premium arable scheme” means the scheme under which a farmer gives the Minister the undertakings set out in Schedules 2 and 4;

  • “premium grass scheme” means the scheme under which a farmer gives the Minister the undertakings set out in Schedules 2 and 5;

  • “sandy” in relation to soil means soil which contains—


    more than 50 per cent by weight of sand sized particles (that is particles more than 0.06 millimetres and less than 2 millimetres in diameter),


    less than 18 per cent by weight of clay sized particles (that is particles less than 0.02 millimetres in diameter), and


    less than 6 per cent by weight of organic carbon;

  • “scheme” (except in the phrase “aid scheme” in the definition in this regulation of “set-aside land”) means a scheme for the payment of aid under these Regulations, being the basic scheme, the premium arable scheme or the premium grass scheme;

  • “set-aside land” means land set aside in accordance with an aid scheme established by Article 1 of Council Regulation (EEC) 1703/91(2), or under Article 2 of Council Regulation (EEC) 2328/91(3)or in accordance with Article 7 of Council Regulation (EEC) 1765/92(4);

  • “share farming agreement” means an agreement in writing for the use of agricultural land for the purposes of a farming enterprise, made between the owner of that land (including a person entitled for a term of years certain or other limited estate) and a farmer who does not have a right to exclusive possession of that land or any legal interest or charge in or over it, under which—


    the relationship between the contracting parties is not one of partnership or employer and employee or landlord and tenant;


    the respective liabilities of the contracting parties for the farming enterprise remain separate and defined in the agreement;


    the contracting parties have joint responsibility for planning and managing the farming enterprise; and


    each contracting party’s reward for participation in the farming enterprise is an agreed share of the output from that enterprise, including agricultural produce of all kinds produced on or from the land and, in any case where produce is sold on behalf of each party to the agreement, revenues from such sale;

  • “slurry” means animal manure with a dry matter content by weight of less than 15 per cent at any time;

  • “stocking level” means the average daily number of livestock grazing the land in the period of 12 months ending on the day in question;

  • “undertaking” in relation to a farmer means any undertaking given by him in connection with an application for aid under these Regulations;

  • “vegetable brassica crop” means Brassica oleracea, including cabbage, cauliflower, calabrese and Brussels sprouts.

(2) Any reference in these Regulations to a nitrate sensitive area by any name appearing in an entry in column (1) of Schedule 1 is a reference to the nitrate sensitive area shown on the map in the “Volume of maps of Nitrate Sensitive Areas” referred to in the definition of “nitrate sensitive area” in paragraph (1) bearing the number in the corresponding entry in column (2) of Schedule 1.

(3) Any reference in these Regulations to—

(a)a numbered regulation or Schedule is a reference to the regulation in or Schedule to these Regulations so numbered; and

(b)a numbered paragraph is a reference to the paragraph so numbered in the regulation in which the reference appears.


O.J. No. L162, 26.6.91, p1.


O.J. No. L218, 6.8.91, p1.


O.J. No. L181, 1.7.92, p12.

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