Cattle Access to Watercourses

The current regulations prevent cattle access to watercourses, effective from 1st January 2021, on farms with a grassland stocking rate of 170 kg N/ha or above.

The measure requires water courses to be fenced 1.5 meters from the top of the river bank or water’s edge as the case may be.

The 2021 consultation sought views on these requirements and should the current requirements of farms be extended and if so, to what extent.

Based on a broad review of responses, the following general points emerged;

The requirement to fence watercourses should be extended to all farms.

All watercourses identified as being at risk from agricultural pressures should be fenced within 3 years.

This measure should be reviewed in future NAPs to effectively determine its impact.

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