Know the Rules


In January 2018 some changes were made to diffuse pollution regulations that may impact on the activities of your business. 

You can read the full Scottish Government document here

We are in the process of updating our Information sheets below and will publish them shortly.  Until then,  please refer back to the full Scottish Government document for the most up to date guide to the GBRs.

In summary, the changes to the regulations mean that the following activities are now covered by General Binding Rules (GBRs).

• The storage, transfer and application of slurry, manure and other fertilisers to land
• The storage and application of digestates and sewage sludge to land
• The use of plant protection products by all application methods
• The use of herbicides in or near to water to control invasive species
• The operation of sheep handling facilities when using pour on chemicals
• Specific types of work carried out to protect river banks from erosion
• The storage of agricultural fuel oil

Download our Information Sheets

We are in the process of updating our Information sheets below and will publish them shortly.  Until then, please also refer back to the full Scottish Government document for the most up to date GBRs when downloading our information sheets below.

Diffuse Pollution - Reducing the Risk - Provides general information on diffuse pollution from rural land use.

Steading Drainage - Runoff from around the steading can be a discrete source of diffuse pollution from the farm; see what you need to consider to reduce the risk.

Slurry and Manure - A valuable fertiliser on the farm, but slurry needs to be collected, stored and applied appropriately to get optimum nutrient value and reduce pollution risks.

Inorganic Fertilisers - Considered nutrient management can help you to optimise yield on the farm and reduce losses to the water environment.

Poaching and Erosion by Livestock - Poaching around watercourses can be an issue for both water quality and farm soils.

Soils and Cultivation - A loss of soil is a loss to the business; protect farm soils from erosion.

Using Pesticides - A small amount of pesticide can have a big impact on water quality; minimise pollution risks when using pesticides.

Purchase and Storage of Pesticides - Know your obligations when purchasing and storing pesticides on the farm.

Sheep Dipping - Sheep dip can cause significant damage to watercourses; know the rules relating to use of dip.

Order a Free Printed Pack

Pick up a free printed pack which contains all the information sheets and comes with a ‘Mind the Gap’ tractor sticker outlining key distances from your local RPID, SAC Consulting, NFUS or SEPA office.

Alternatively, you can request your pack by emailing

More Information?

Our information sheets summarise the main rules related to these activities. To read the rules in more detail, see:

Farming & Water Scotland