NVZ Designations and Appeals

Published 16 January 17

NVZs for 2017 to 2020 started on 1 January 2017. They include new areas of NVZs, and exclude areas that have been de-designated.

Farmers can check whether their farm falls within an NVZ by using the What’s in your backyard tool.

Defra is issuing notices for the farms in the NVZs and is doing so in three tranches as follows. To date only the first tranche has been issued.


Date of Issue

River Basin District


3 January 2017

North West
Solway Tweed


23 January 2017

South East
South West


20 February 2017


The notices are issued using the contact details recorded on the Rural Payments Agency Farm Register and the June Survey of Agriculture.

Contact details will not all be up to date. They also include instances where farmers are registered with the Rural Payments Agency via their agents and, in such cases, notices are sent to the agent’s address.  

If you think the land you own or occupy is in an NVZ but you haven’t received a notice within a few days of the date of issue for your River Basin District you or your adviser can contact the Environment Agency.  You will need the notice if you wish to appeal. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nitrate-vulnerable-zones-appeal-a-decision-notice

Defra recognise the difficulties for farmers who wish to appeal but receive their notice very late. In cases of genuine need, another notice can be issued with a revised date on request. Farmers or their advisers should contact the Environment Agency if they would like to follow this up.    

The Environment Agency will not accept requests for notices to be issued until a few days after the relevant tranche to allow time for the notice to have reached you

If you are uncertain whether your land falls within an NVZ or have difficulty viewing the maps online then you can contact the Environment Agency. 

Telephone: 03708 506 506 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm) enquiries@environment-agency.gov.uk

Defra 13 January 2017

The NFU website contains further details.