Cross compliance: establishment of buffer strips (GAEC 1) (2014)
Summary of the rules on using buffer strips to protect surface water from pollution.
In this page
The aim of this requirement is to protect surface water from pollution by nitrate, phosphorus, plant protection products and faecal pathogens by creating buffer strips. These can have serious effects on the health and diversity of fresh and marine waters, including the plants and animals that live in those environments. This requirement applies to all agricultural land in Wales.
- Surface Water includes coastal waters, estuaries, canals, lakes, ponds and watercourses such as rivers, streams and ditches which contain free flowing water; and also includes temporarily dry ditches and blind ditches.
- Inorganic fertilisers and manufactured fertilisers must not be applied within 2 metres of surface water.
- Plant Protection Products must not be applied within 2 metres of surface water
- Organic fertilisers (including manures and slurry) must not be applied within 10 metres of surface water (6 metres if using precision spreading equipment e.g. injector system, trailing shoe or dribble bar).
- Organic fertilisers (including manures and slurry) must not be applied within 50 metres of boreholes, springs and wells.
- Supplementary feeding must not occur within 10 metres of surface water.
- Check that inorganic fertilisers, organic fertilisers (including manures and slurry) and pesticides are not applied to the buffer strips.
- Check the location of surface water and boreholes, springs and wells on your own land and adjacent neighbouring land before applying any fertilisers, plant protection products or undertaking any supplementary feeding.
- Check that supplementary feeding sites are not located within 10 metres of surface water.
- Ensure that the buffer strips are wide enough to prevent any run-off or pollution (where appropriate this may require buffer strips to be wider than the minimum requirements)
- Produce, update and keep a map of your holding showing the location of surface water and buffer strips so that you can provide it to contractors, or consult it prior to applying any fertilisers, pesticides or undertaking any supplementary feeding.
For further information please contact:
- Welsh Government
- Natural Resources Wales
or see Cross compliance: useful contacts (2022) factsheet within this pack.