ARCHIVE: Entry Level Stewardship Handbook 2005 (PB10355)

What do I have to do under the legislation at a) above

As part of Good Farming Practice, you must comply with the appropriate requirements of the different pieces of legislation. If Defra is notified about the serving of an enforcement notice or a successful prosecution under any piece of this legislation, we will assess the extent to which the breach has prejudiced compliance with your agreement. If necessary, we will then apply a penalty, proportionate to the nature of the breach.

  1. Forestry Act 1967

    You must not fell trees without a licence from the Forestry Commissioners. They can investigate unauthorised felling and, where convictions are obtained, they can require replanting of the land on which the felling took place.
  2. Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 and the Ancient Monuments (Consents) Order 1994/1381

    You must not knowingly or recklessly, or without lawful excuse, cause damage to a designated protected monument. Works that are not permitted, unless a written consent has been granted by English Heritage, on such sites include ploughing of pasture, deep cultivations, sub-soiling, drainage works, planting or removal of trees, hedges and shrubs, turf cutting, erection of fences or barriers, certain building works, laying of paths or foundations.
  3. Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981

    You must not disturb or kill certain protected animals, birds and plants which are listed in the Schedules to this Act. You are prohibited from killing certain game species within specified close seasons and certain methods of killing or taking of wild birds are prohibited.
  4. Part III of the Food and Environment Protection Act 1985 (together with the Control of Pesticides Regulations 1986, and the Plant Protection Products Regulations 1995/3241)

    You must not use an unlawful pesticide or any that does not have a current approval under domestic or EC licensing provisions. You are obliged to store all pesticides safely, follow label instructions and abide by the recommended best practice as set down in the statutory code of practice for the safe use of pesticides on farms and holdings, known as the ‘Green Code’. You should not apply pesticides without the requisite training and certification.
  5. Heather and Grass etc. (Burning) Regulations 1986/428

    Any burning must be carried out on a rotational basis, at a frequency not greater than seven years, and over an area not exceeding 5% of the total area of the subject fields in any one year. There are different periods of the year when burning is prohibited, depending on whether or not you farm in an upland area (restrictions in certain areas start after 31 March). Licences to burn at restricted times may be granted in exceptional circumstances. The Heather & Grass Burning Code must always be complied with. Adjacent owners and occupiers must be informed at least 24 hours before a burn, and there are special provisions for notification for burns on Common land.
  6. Crops Residues (Burning) Regulations 1993/1366

    With very limited exceptions, you cannot burn cereal straw or stubble, dry harvested field bean, pea or oil seed haulm. If you are entitled to rely on an exception (for instance broken bales or where you have been served with a Plant Health notice), there is a list contained within the Regulations of the precautions that must be complied with when burning.
  7. Water Resources Act 1991 and the Control of Pollution (Silage, Slurry and Agricultural Fuel Oil) Regulations 1991/324 (as amended in 1997)

    You must apply for all necessary abstraction or impounding licences or necessary discharge consents from the Environment Agency and comply with all requirements imposed. You must have fit and proper storage for your slurry and oil in accordance with the 1991 Regulations. If you are served with a Notice by the Environment Agency where they are of the opinion that there is a significant risk of pollution to controlled waters (which includes all freshwaters and groundwater), you must follow the terms of such Notice.
  8. Clean Air Act 1993

    You must not burn rubber tyres, polythene, plastic bags or containers or other waste materials which cause emission of dark smoke on trade premises (which include all farms). Waste must be disposed of in appropriate ways that do not damage the environment (in particular see the Defra Codes of Good Agricultural Practice for the Protection of Air and Soil referred to above).
  9. Conservation (Natural Habitats etc.) Regulations 1994/2716

    These Regulations deal with the conservation of specially designated conservation sites and certain methods of taking or killing wild animals are prohibited. Certain species of plant are protected, and it is possible to apply for licences to cover specific derogations, but only where there are no satisfactory alternatives available. If you farm in a Special Area of Conservation or Protection, or if you have entered into a Management Agreement, you must adhere to any restrictions that apply.
  10. Hedgerow Regulations 1997/1160

    You cannot remove, without permission from your local planning authority, any hedges on agricultural land which are at least 20 metres in length, are over 30 years old and contain certain specified species of plant. Permission will not be given where the hedge is important. If you have any doubts or need to ask about any licence that is required before you take action to remove any part of a hedge, you should contact your local planning authority.
  11. Groundwater Regulations 1998/2746

    If you cause or knowingly permit disposition of substances that include mineral oils, organo-phosphorous compounds, cadmium, hydrocarbons and biocides from entering groundwater without an authorization you are committing an offence.
  12. Action Programme for Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (England and Wales) Regulations 1998/1202 as amended by 2002/26146

    Since 2002, the vast majority of land (over 80%) in England has been designated as being a Nitrate Vulnerable Zone. You are responsible for establishing whether your farm is within such a zone and, if so, you must be aware of and comply with the programme of nitrogen fertiliser and organic manure application restrictions contained in the first schedule to these Regulations. You must take account of the particular land use, soil conditions, type and slope, climatic conditions, rainfall and irrigation. You must follow the detailed requirements of the Regulations in order to assess any spreading restrictions that apply.
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