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Agricultural regulation and guidance

Prevention of Environmental Pollution From Agricultural Activity (PEPFAA code) – Code of good practice

The purpose of the PEPFAA codeis to provide practical guidance for farmers and those involved in agricultural activities, on minimising the risks of environmental pollution from farming operations. We work alongside the Scottish Government Environment Directorate, the National Farmers Union Scotland, and the Scottish Agricultural College in producing and monitoring the code.

There are two versions of the PEPFAA codeavailable: the full version and a shorter, PEPFAA do’s and don’ts guide. Each section contains a list of relevant do’s and don’ts and indicates which are mandatory (i.e. legal requirements), which are requirements for receipt of the Single Farm Payment (SFP) and which are voluntary good practice measures. In the full version, each section goes on to discuss each topic in more detail and summarise the relevant legislation.


NetRegsis a website that provides free environmental guidance for businesses in the UK with specific information on agriculture and Scottish regulations. NetRegs offers up-to-date guidance on the latest regulations. Visit the NetRegs website to sign up for e-alerts.

Controlled Activities Regulations - a practical guide

This guide provides practical and succinct advice on the Controlled Activities Regulations (CAR).

The guide introduces the regulations, provides advice on the activities controlled by them and outlines how specific activities are authorised by SEPA.

Four point plan

The four point plan contains simple guidance for livestock farmers aiming to reduce the risk of pollution from the management of manures and slurries. It also provides advice on how to reduce dirty water around the farm.

The planis divided into four sections, covering:

  • minimising dirty water around a steading;
  • better nutrient use;
  • a risk assessment for manure and slurry (RAMS);
  • managing water margins.

Farm soils plan

The farm soils planoffers basic guidance for all farmers and crofters throughout Scotland. The guidance covers assessing soil types, recognising and rectifying poor soil conditions, targeted nutrient application, reducing soil erosion and protecting water quality.

Assessing compliance with the soil aspects of Good Agricultural and Environmental Condition (GAEC) can help farmers to protect their Single Farm Payment (SFP). A guide is contained within the plan.

Sheep dipping code of practice

The sheep dipping code of practice provides Scottish farmers, crofters and contractors with straightforward guidance on pollution prevention and good practice. The code describes legislative requirements and offers advice on how to manage the pollution risks posed by sheep dip and comply with the relevant regulations.

The PEPFAA codealso contains guidance on how to prevent pollution by sheep dip chemicals.


The code of practice for using plant protection products in Scotlandprovides guidance on the safe use of pesticide products. The code covers training and certification, planning and preparation, working with pesticides, disposing of pesticide waste and record keeping.

More information on pesticides in farming is a in our pesticides document.

Aerial spraying

Following the introduction of the Plant Protection Products (Sustainable Use) Regulations 2012, the procedures for processing requests for aerial spraying has changed. From June 2012, all aerial spraying operations must be permitted by the Chemicals Regulation Directorate. The application forms together with further information and guidance can be found on the Chemicals Regulation Directorate website.

Contact us

If you have any questions or require any further information or advice on any aspect of agricultural guidance, please contact us.