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Diffuse pollution in the rural environment

A programme of rural diffuse pollution work started in March 2010, to help deliver the objectives outlined in the river basin management plans (RBMPs) for the Scotland and Solway-Tweed river basin districts.

Diffuse pollution priority catchments have been identified by SEPA as catchments failing to meet environmental standards. Visit our diffuse pollution priority catchments page for more information.

General binding rules

The Water Environment (Diffuse Pollution) (Scotland) Regulations are referred to as the Diffuse Pollution General Binding Rules (DP GBRs). The seven DP GBRs focus solely on rural land use activities.

All rural land users have a responsibility to ensure they are working in line with these DP GBR’s. The most recent copies GBR's relevant to diffuse pollution are available on the Farming and Water Scotland website. Further GBR's and guidance are available below:

Diffuse pollution (GBR) leaflets

DP GBR: Forestry
DP GBRs explained
Priority catchments
Stable yards: reducing pollution risks

Developed from already widely accepted good practice guidance, such as the Prevention of Environmental Pollution from Agricultural Activity code (PEPFAA), the DP GBRs present a statutory baseline which should provide a general level of environmental protection and contribute significantly to water quality improvements. There are no fees associated with the GBRs and no application forms. However, each DP GBR has conditions which specify what must be done to ensure compliance.

Useful links

Contact us

If you have any questions or require any further information or advice on any aspect of diffuse pollution priority catchments, please contact us.