Skip to main content

Nitrate Vulnerable Zones

Volume 460: debated on Thursday 24 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he expects the review of nitrate vulnerable zone designations to be completed; and if he will make a statement. (137859)

A review of Nitrate Vulnerable Zone (NVZ) designations in England is nearly complete. It is our intention to publish national-level maps illustrating the conclusions of the review in the forthcoming consultation on amendments to the NVZ Action Programme.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many farms there are in nitrate vulnerable zones in England, broken down by region; and what the (a) size and (b) location is of each farm. (137860)

The Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZs) designated in 1996 and 2002 cover approximately 55 per cent. of England’s land area. An estimate of the number of holdings located within these NVZs, broken down by region and size, is provided in the following table.

It is not possible to provide personal data (i.e. the size or location of each farm) due to issues of confidentiality.

Size of holding (total farmed area in hectares)

Region

0

>0to <5

5 to <20

20 to <50

50 to <100

100+

Total

North East

118

270

164

144

163

243

1,102

North West

1,321

2,390

1,636

1,298

1,092

660

8,397

Yorkshire and Humber

1,434

3,561

2,239

1,471

1,368

1,919

11,992

East Midlands

2,531

4,607

3,389

2,538

2,056

3,271

18,392

West Midlands

2,605

4,905

3,673

2,493

1,920

1,795

17,391

Eastern

2,184

5,473

3,250

2,043

1,762

3,607

18,319

London

17

43

38

23

16

9

146

South East

1,556

3,311

2,675

1,611

1,054

1,912

12,119

South West

2,206

3,710

2,874

1,988

1,602

1,929

14,309

Total

13,972

28,270

19,938

13,609

11,033

15,345

102,167

It should be noted that the figures contained in the aforementioned table are estimates based upon the June Agricultural Census 2005 (DEFRA), which only seeks data from a proportion of holdings each year. In the Agricultural Census data the location of each holding is represented by a single point. If that point falls within the current NVZ boundary the area of the entire holding is included in these figures. If the point is outside the boundary no land is included.