Facing up to environmental issues

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A well attended meeting of the Angus branch of NFU Scotland met at Letham near Forfar to hear from Andrew Bauer, NFUS Policy Manager, on current environmental issues facing farmers in our county.

An informative presentation and ensuing debate covered the headings of the Nitrate Vulnerable Zone Consultation, water abstraction and licensing, drainage and ditch clearing, diffuse pollution and the Scottish Water best practice scheme for Lintrathen.

Also in attendance were Stuart McGowan and Will Dryburgh from SEPA who reported that particularly in respect of ditches and burns they encouraged farmers to contact them for guidance, especially as they may find that their intended activity may be possible without a license.

In his presentation Mr Bauer had commented on the noticeable change in SPEA in recent months to appreciate that ditches did need to be cleared at some stage in order to perform their intended function.

Mr Dryburgh thanked members for the great reception SEPA had received when visiting the 160 farms for the South Esk Catchment Scheme and that they had come across some excellent practice.

Members requiring further details may contact Jeremy Parker or Robert Beaty at the Forfar NFU office on 01307 463 785.