Apply for a nitrate vulnerable zone (NVZ) derogation

You must apply for a ‘derogation’ to spread more than 170 kilograms of nitrogen from manure from grazing livestock on your farm.

You can apply between 1 October and 31 December each year for a derogation in the following year.

If your application is approved and you meet certain conditions, you’ll be able to spread up to 250 kilograms of nitrogen per hectare per year.

What you need to know

Start nowon Defra farm surveys and assessments

Before you start

You must apply for a derogation each year.

Telephone applications

Call the Environment Agency to apply by telephone.

Environment Agency
Telephone: 03708 506 506
Find out about call charges

Getting help

Contact the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) Helpline if you have any queries about nitrate vulnerable zone regulations and derogation rules.

Defra Helpline
Telephone: 03459 33 55 77
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
Find out about call charges


At least 80% of your farm must be grassland. You’ll have to follow some additional requirements if the derogation is approved.

Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales

You must apply for the derogation:

NVZ Wales helpline
Telephone: 01824 704060
Find out about call charges


Sign up as an agent if you want to apply for a derogation for more than one farmer.

Cross compliance

These standards are part of cross compliance. You must meet them to get your farming subsidy under the Single Payment Scheme.


Author: MixoBiz

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