Farming Rules for Water

In 2018 the new Farming rules for Water (FRW) were introduced to help protect water quality. In simple terms the rules require farmers to:

  • keep soil on the land
  • match nutrients to crop, and soil needs
  • keep livestock, fertilisers and manures out of the water.



Calling all farmers in the North East

Have you heard that the Government recently brought in new legislation to improve water quality through better agricultural land & manure management?

The 'Farming Rules for Water' set out ways that you need to manage soil, nutrients and manure/slurry on your land to ensure they do not impact on watercourses or groundwater on or under your land.


Raising awareness

The Wear Rivers Trust have coordinated communication roll-out of the country-wide “Farming Rules for Water” (FRW)” across the North East England region. The FRW were primarily introduced to tackle diffuse pollution of surface waters and are based on the concept of ‘reasonable precautions’ which encourage the farmer to decide what actions are needed to reduce the risk of water pollution, to keep valuable topsoil on fields and to apply fertilisers only when appropriate. 


Groundwater: Out of sight, out of mind

Compliance with FRW will also benefit groundwater quality, especially in areas with a high connectivity, directly through ground infiltration and indirectly between surface waters and groundwaters. It is required that farmer and land managers investigate potential pollution sources and pathways and take preventative action.  To learn more about groundwater and how its utilised near you, please visit our interactive Wear portal found under the storymaps tab.


FRW Workshops

To date the WRT and partners have held four Farming Rules for Water Workshops, taking place at Nafferton Farm, Houghall College, Alnwick & Darlington. 

The key points of these events were to raise awareness & discuss the following:

• How to keep soil on the land.

• Matching of nutrients to crop, and soil needs.

• Keeping livestock, fertilisers, and manures out of the water courses and on your land.

Source material from these events are located at the foot of this page, and an overview of FRW by Frontier Agriculture can be found at the link below.