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 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.
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.
- Poaching and Erosion by Livestock - Poaching around watercourses can be an issue for both water quality and farm soils.
- Soils and Cultivation - A loss of soil is a loss to the business; protect farm soils from erosion.
- Using Pesticides - A small amount of pesticide can have a big impact on water quality; minimise pollution risks when using pesticides.
- Purchase and Storage of Pesticides - Know your obligations when purchasing and storing pesticides on the farm.
- Sheep Dipping - Sheep dip can cause significant damage to watercourses; know the rules relating to use of dip.
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:
- Working in or near rivers or lochs
- Registration rules explained: Dredging in straightened river between 1 and 5 m wide
- Registration rules explained: Removal of exposed sediment such as gravel bars
- Silt control guidance - preventing pollution while dredging
Our information sheets summarise the main rules related to these activities. To read the rules in more detail, see:
- SEPA CAR Practical Guide
- Cross Compliance detailed guidance
- Plant Protection Products Regulations (2012)
- Sheep Dipping Code of Practice
- The Water Environment (Miscellaneous) (Scotland) Regulations 2017
- 'Mind The Gap - 2m and 10 m buffer strip near watercourses' Information Note
- Statutory management requirements (SMRs)
- Good Agricultural & Environmental Conditions (GAECs)