U14 waste exemption: incorporating ash into soil

The U14 exemption allows you to mix ash back into the soil to return some of the nutrients from the burnt crops and vegetation.

Types of activity you can carry out

Ploughing or mixing into the soil ash produced from burning:

Types of activity you cannot carry out

You cannot:

  • bring ash onto your farm from other places and plough it into the soil
  • plough or mix ash from burning other types of waste into the soil

Type of waste you can use

The waste codes are listed in the List of Wastes (LoW) Regulations. You need to make sure your waste fits within the waste code and the description.

Waste code Type of waste
020103, 020107, 200201 Ash from burning plant tissue only

Amount of waste you can use

You can spread up to 10 tonnes of ash per hectare.

You should only spread the minimum amount of ash needed to benefit the soil. If you apply more ash than appears reasonable, the Environment Agency may consider this as disposal of waste.

Key conditions

You must plough ash from burning cereal straw or stubble into the soil within 24 hours of it being burnt, unless the wind would cause excessive dust. If it is too windy, you must incorporate the ash as soon as conditions allow.

Other things you need to know

The types of wood you can burn under D7: burning waste in the open are:

  • waste bark and wood
  • plant tissue
  • sawdust or shavings from untreated wood

Under U14 you can only incorporate ash from burning plant tissue, not wood from joinery.

If you are burning crop residues, you also need to comply with the Crop Residue (Burning) Regulations 1993.

D7: burning waste in the open

Register a U14 exemption

You need to register this exemption with the Environment Agency if you meet the requirements.

Published 28 April 2014