Natural England maps nitrate crisis catchment zones

Natural England has set out new catchment plans and updated its nitrates impact assessment guidance for planners and developers in the protected Solent area, where a district-wide planning freeze has been in place since June.

The Solent is home to multiple EU-protected sites under the Birds and Habitats Directives. But runoff from agriculture and treated wastewater has been creating dead zones where excessive green algae growth has starved parts of the Solent’s protected coastal waters of oxygen, damaging marine and bird life, according to Natural England.

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