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Agricultural spreading of slurry

SEPA’s position on slurry spreading was withdrawn in April 2020 given ground conditions across Scotland’s agricultural land improved significantly enabling slurry spreading to be undertaken in line with General Binding Rule 18.

When proposing to spread slurry on water logged land, land managers should use the guidance below.

Our full position statement on managing slurry following excessive rainfall during winter 2019-2020 is available on our website.


  • Farmers must put their request to spread slurry in writing (by letter, email or fax). Initial notification may be given by telephone, with written request to follow, if there is imminent risk of stores overflowing.
  • Do not fully empty the store(s). Calculate the amount of slurry that needs to be removed from the store(s) to provide on average 2 - 3 weeks capacity within your system. This figure MUST be agreed with SEPA..
  • Check to see if alternative slurry stores on other farms have capacity and could be used, or if you are in near an operating anaerobic digestion (AD) plant could they utilise your slurry for a period of time. 
  • Only apply slurry to land that is regarded as low risk - select fields that are flat or less than 5% slope, well vegetated, are the driest on your farm, and have no watercourses or ditches as boundaries.
  • Any suitable field which has a water course as its boundary should not have slurry applied within 30m of this watercourse. In this instance slurry applications should be restricted to the centre and areas of the field furthest away from the watercourse.  
  • Application rates should not be in excess of 20m3 / ha.  

Do everything possible to minimise pollution. If pollution arises you could still be liable to enforcement action by us.


Any queries or concerns can be discussed with SEPA staff. Email using our online contact form, with your enquiry and contact details and someone will get back to you.