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Nitrate Vulnerable Zones


Review of NVZ Designated Areas.

Following the review of Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZ) Designated Areas consultation, from 1 January 2016 legislation was introduced to designate the two new NVZs areas listed below:   

  • Finavon (Angus)

  • Stranraer Lowlands (Piltanton)

The new Finavon NVZ area will become part of the Strathmore/ Fife NVZ, whereas Stranraer Lowlands will be a standalone NVZ. Scottish Government will continue to liaise with farmers in these new areas, and provide support and training, as to requirements for compliance with the Nitrates Action Programme.

If your business is registered online with Rural Payments and Services you can log on and view a detailed map of your holding, which will indicate if any fields are within an NVZ.

The four existing NVZs: Lower Nithsdale; Lothians and Borders; Strathmore and Fife; and Moray, Aberdeenshire, Banff and Buchan were previously revised by legislation on 2 February 2015. This amended the NVZ boundaries reducing the areas they covered and de-designating farms.

There have been no further changes to Lower Nithsdale, Lothian and Borders and Moray, Aberdeenshire, Banff and Buchan NVZs. However, in relation to the legislation new signed copies of the maps have been made available, below.

New and revised NVZ areas in Scotland from the

1 January 2016

(click on the area name below for a detailed map of designated areas)

1. Lower Nithsdale

2. Lothian and Borders

3. Strathmore and Fife (including Finavon)

4. Moray, Aberdeenshire / Banff and Buchan

5. Stranraer Lowlands (new)


Current NVZ areas in Scotland until

31 December 2015

(click on the area name below for a detailed map of designated areas)

1. Lower Nithsdale

2. Lothian and Borders

3. Strathmore and Fife 

4. Moray, Aberdeenshire / Banff and Buchan

The effect of de-designation is to remove the requirement to follow the measures of the Nitrates Action Programme for farms now outwith the NVZs.  For farms partially within the NVZs the NVZ measures are only required on those particular fields designated as within the NVZs. However, in either case aspects of the action programme represent best practice and there are similar legislative requirements under the Cross Compliance Regulations or the Controlled Activities Regulations General Binding Rules, which apply across Scotland. Further guidance on best practice and these regulations can be found at the links below:


Further Information & Guidance
Information and guidance on all aspects of the Action Programme for Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (Scotland) Regulations 2008 can be accessed via the links on the left hand column of this page.

Any new guidance or news concerning NVZs will be published in the "Latest NVZ News and Guidance" section. Check back regularly to keep informed.