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The Inspection

Many of the Environment Agency inspections are selected on a risk basis. They are continually testing and collating data on main watercourses that have a high/increasing level of nitrates and or phosphates.

Therefore, they may routinely visit all farms in a river’s catchment area and advise on ways to improve farming practices, or look for any potential pollution issues.

Inspections are typically paperwork and farmyard based.

Different EA officers will run the inspection differently according to which area they are from. Some target the farmyard more than the paperwork and vice versa.

 

Paperwork

The Environment Agency officer will arrive and ask specific questions that will determine the following:

  • Farming practices
  • Details about the farm and business
  • Schemes the business is part of

The documents they would expect to see from the farmer would be:

  • NVZ Records
    • NVZ Calculations
    • Slurry Storage Calculations
  • Risk Maps
  • Field Records
  • Soil Test results (less than four years old)

The Environment Agency consider LEAF members less of a risk to the environment.

The EA would check the areas at risk of causing pollution, usually they know what they're looking prior to the inspection. The areas the Environment Agency would check are:

  • Silage (pits and/or bales)
  • Manure storage
    • Slurry
    • Other manures if within the yard
  • Agricultural Fuel storage
  • Oil storage
  • PPP storage
  • Dairy Chemical storage

Water Framework Directive

The Water Framework Directive is a European initiative, which commits European Union member states to achieve good water quality status within all their water bodies. 

Much of this directive has been tied into existing legislation, and farmers will have been invited to various meetings about the WFD. If you do not attend, an officer will arrange to visit your farm with the aim of raising awareness about the WFD and what should be done to follow it. 

If you need help with an inspection, contact our office today.

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