News that hundreds of farmers in South Lakeland could now be exempt from the Nitrate Vulnerable Zones restrictions have been welcomed by Liberal Democrat Farming Spokesperson Tim Farron MP after the appeal process exposed flaws in previous appeal designations.
Under the current proposals, farmers in the designated zones will have to increase their slurry storage capacity, which will mean investing in much larger slurry tanks at an average cost of around £30,000 per farm.
Farmers in the Kent Estuary in Cumbria are amongst those who will be affected even though evidence shows that the estuary nitrate problem was caused by a faulty United Utilities drain at Meathop and had nothing to do with farming. Tim has now called for the government to exempt all farmers in the Kent Estuary from the regulations.
Commenting Mr Farron said:
"The appeals process has cast a lot of doubt on how well the designation method has been operating and exposed an awful lot of mistakes.
"The fact that the Government is prepared to make exemptions is certainly a positive step but the cost of these new rules will still be unaffordable for many farmers at an already difficult time for them.
"Instead of simply delaying the inevitable, the government should be rethink their entire NVZ strategy-starting by exempting all farmers in the Kent Estuary from these regulations."
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