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Amendments made to the Water Environment (Controlled Activities) (Scotland) Regulations 2011

Effective from 1 January 2022

The Controlled Activities Regulations (CAR) have been updated to include the 2003 “SSAFO Regs”, known as the Control of Pollution (Silage, Slurry and Agricultural Fuel Oil) (Scotland) Regulations 2003, (as amended).  This change has meant the majority of regulations about slurry and silage handing and storage are now in one place.

The following activities are already covered by General Binding Rules (GBRs):

  • The storage, transfer and application of slurry, manure and other fertilisers to land
  • The storage and application of digestates and sewage sludge to land
  • The use of plant protection products by all application methods
  • The use of herbicides in or near to water to control invasive species
  • The operation of sheep handling facilities when using pour on chemicals
  • Specific types of work carried out to protect river banks from erosion
  • The storage of agricultural fuel oil

The amendments, due to come into force on 1st January 2022, have been produced to provide clarity, and six new GBRs have been included.  These cover:

  • Making and storing silage in bales or bulk bags (GBR 29)
  • The treatment of lightly contaminated silage and slurry through a constructed farm wetland. (GBRs 30 and 33)
  • Consolidation of SSAFO rules on the storage of silage and slurry (GBRs 31 and 32)
  • Storage of liquid digestate, a by-product of the energy production process using anaerobic digestion (GBR 34)

Find out more in our 'New General Binding Rules on Silage and Slurry - What's changed?' webpage.

Further Information & Downloads

We are updating and adding new information sheets to our Know the Rules series below.  In the interim, please refer back to the full Scottish Government document for the most up to date guide to the GBRs.  You can read the Scottish Government regulations in full here.

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Download our information sheets

We are in the process of updating our Information sheets below and will publish them shortly.  Until then, please also refer back to the full Scottish Government document for the most up to date GBRs when downloading our information sheets below.

  • Diffuse Pollution - Reducing the Risk - Provides general information on diffuse pollution from rural land use.
  • Steading Drainage - Runoff from around the steading can be a discrete source of diffuse pollution from the farm; see what you need to consider to reduce the risk.
  • Slurry and Manure - A valuable fertiliser on the farm, but slurry needs to be collected, stored and applied appropriately to get optimum nutrient value and reduce pollution risks.
  • Inorganic Fertilisers - Considered nutrient management can help you to optimise yield on the farm and reduce losses to the water environment.

Working In or Near Water

Engineering works – including the removal of sediment (gravel, sand, silt) from rivers and lochs – can cause damage to the water environment.

Find out if the activity which you're planning in, or near to water needs authorisation from SEPA by checking here.

Other useful links for water engineering information:


Bank Protection