Site Logo
Skip to main content Skip to main menu

Agriculture

Agriculture has played an important part in the economic and sustainable growth of County Cavan.

However, in order for this to continue, the agricultural community has to ensure that various obligations regarding the law and the environment are applied.

Cavan is renowned for the large number of lakes and intricate river systems.  It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure these river and lakes are properly protected as many of which are sources of our drinking water.  Cavan is predominantly a rural County; therefore, one of the potential sources of pollution to our rivers and lakes can be poor agricultural practices. 

Care must be taken when landspreading, including adherence to the following distances from various water features.

Chemical fertiliser

Chemical fertiliser shall not be applied to land within

  • 2 metres of any surface waters.

Organic fertiliser

Organic fertiliser included livestock manure, dungstead manure, farmyard manure, slurry, soiled water, silage effluent, spent mushroom compost, sewage sludge, industrial by-products, sludges and residues from fish farms.

Organic fertiliser or soiled water shall not be applied to land within

  • 200 metres of an abstraction point for a water scheme which supplies 100m³ or more of water per day or 500 or more persons.

  • 100 metres of an abstraction point for a water scheme which supplies 10m³ or more of water per day or serves 50 or more persons.

  • 25 metres of an abstraction point not specified in 1 or 2 above.

  • 20 metres of a lake shore.

  • 15 metres of exposed cavernous or karstified limestone features.

  • 5 metres of surface watercourse.  This distance is 10 metres for a period of 2 weeks preceding and 2 weeks following the periods when application of fertilizers to land is prohibited.

Farmyard Manure

Where farmyard manure is held in a field prior to landspreading it shall be held in a compact heap and shall not be placed within  

  • 250 metres of an abstraction point for a water scheme which supplies less than 10m3 of water per day or serves less than 50 persons.

  • 50 metres of an abstraction point not specified in 1 above.

  • 20 metres of a lake shoreline.

  • 50 metres of exposed cavernous or karstified limestone features.

  • 20 metres of any other surface water.

Organic fertiliser, soiled water or chemical fertiliser shall not be applied 

  • On wet or waterlogged land.

  • Land that is flooded or likely to flood.

  • On frozen or snow-covered land.

  • If heavy rainfall is forecast within 48 hours.

  • On land sloping steeply towards rivers, streams, lakes and exposed bedrock.

Legislation overview

The ‘European Union (Good Agricultural Practice for Protection of Waters) Regulations 2014’ is the current legislation with regards to agricultural activities and covers many aspects of agriculture in respect of protecting water quality including

  • Land spreading distances from water bodies. It is essential that the required distances are observed in the case of domestic wells and public water supply sources.

  • Requirements as to the manner of application of fertilisers, soiled water etc.

  • Periods when application of fertilisers is prohibited.

  • Limits on the amount of livestock manure to be applied.

  • Ploughing and the use of non-selective herbicides.

If you would like to view the latest regulations covering the use of agricultural land, you can do so by taking a look at the following website:

Useful websites

Farmers are advised to visit this website for information regarding the dates for spreading Chemical and Organic fertilisers.(Dates for closing season to change in Autumn 2022.)

However, if you have any questions or concerns regarding agriculture within the County Cavan area, please get in touch using the details below.

Was this information helpful?
This form is for feedback on the webpage content. If you wish to report for example potholes, faulty street lights, barking dogs or any council housing maintenance issues please use the Report it option
Thank you for contacting Cavan County Council, we will review and deal with your query and contact you if we require further information.
Back to top