The EA in theory allows you to spread slurry on very wet land in ‘exceptional events’. You need to have a contingency plan for such an event and should be able to produce it. If you must spread slurry because your lagoon or tower is in danger of overflowing, and there is a danger of run-off, you should contact the EA.
However, you need to be wary as to exactly what constitutes an ‘exceptional event’. The Government website has a paragraph on this, that is not particularly helpful. It says it is a “Definition of exceptional circumstances”, but it isn’t really that. It just gives examples of what have, in their view, constituted ‘exceptional circumstances’ in the past. So, they say that the following are exceptional circumstances:
• The exceptionally long and dry summers of 1976 and 2018
• Major flooding
• Major disruptions to agriculture and food supply
These are the only three examples given, and there is no further definition of ’major flooding’. While the EA is (it seems) trying to be more reasonable at the moment as conditions in many parts of the country are so awful, it is unlikely they will be lenient if they discover deliberate pollution, or extreme carelessness. Planning and forethought are crucial, and, as always, if your paperwork is in good order, this can help hugely in proving you have been trying – at least – to be responsible.
For more information, check the www.gov.uk website. Or contact your local FCG office to ensure that your Manure and Fertiliser records are compliant depending on whether you are in or outside an NVZ.