Protecting our water, soil and air

Provides best practice advice on minimising the risk of causing pollution while protecting natural resources.


Protecting our Water, Soil and Air

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Protecting our Water, Soil and Air: A Code of Good Agricultural Practice for farmers, growers and land managers (the ‘CoGAP’) offers practical interpretation of legislation and provides good advice on best practice. Good agricultural practice means a practice that minimises the risk of causing pollution while protecting natural resources and allowing economic agriculture to continue.  It has been written by technical specialists from Defra and Natural England.

All farm staff and contractors on the farm who handle, store, use, spread or dispose of any substances that could pollute water, soil or air should be aware of their responsibilities and know about the causes and results of pollution. They should know how and when to operate and maintain the equipment they use, and know what to do in an emergency.

The CoGAP provides an important point of reference, based around the main operations that farmers, growers and land managers might undertake; the advice covers activities carried out in the field, but also management plans, farm infrastructure and waste management.

Published 16 June 2011
Last updated 22 June 2017 + show all updates
  1. Added a link to up to date guidance on using organic manures and manufactured fertilisers on farmland.
  2. Paragraph 9 on page 2 of this publication has been updated to indicate which sections are relevant to Nitrate Vulnerable Zone rules and the Nitrates Directive.
  3. First published.