HANDLING MANURE
** horse ** chicken ** rabbit **

 

HORSE MANURE
Environmental Permitting (EP) Regulations 2007

The manure produced annually by an average horse provides 45-55kg of nitrogen, 8-9kg of phosphorus and 30-45kg of potassium along with beneficial micro-organisms that can improve soil structure and biological activity. Despite the potential value of manure, when it is improperly managed it can cause soil, air and water pollution and harmful microbial build up in the soil.
Horse manure is classified as a controlled waste if it is discarded, i.e:
disposed of by burning
tipping
burial.
Horse manure will also become a controlled waste if it is mixed with other wastes (e.g. green garden waste), whether it is mixed on the premises or elsewhere.
The producer and anyone else involved in managing the manure has a Duty of Care to ensure it is stored and disposed of in accordance with all appropriate legislation. In England and Wales this is regulated by the Environment Agency (EA) through a system of permits.
The treating, keeping and disposing of controlled waste without an appropriate permit or exemption is an offence. The discharge of effluent or polluting matter to controlled waters without consent is also an offence. The Environment Agency may take action when an offence has been committed.

 

IS A PERMIT OR EXEMPTION REQUIRED FOR STORING HORSE MANURE AT THE ALLOTMENT?

Providing the following management of manure is strictly observed, no permit or exemption is required. Environmental permit check

 

HANDLING & STORAGE OF HORSE MANURE

Manure must be kept separate from normal household waste, which is subject to different legislation. Even manure produced within the curtilage of a dwelling house should not be mixed with general household waste. If it is mixed with other wastes, a permit will be required.
It is important that the storage area is level, possibly with concreted or hard standing underneath. If the site is by necessity sloping, then the provision must be made to keep rainwater away from the manure piles and to collect any run-off into sealed tanks for collection. It is essential, and a legal requirement, that no run off should find its way into watercourses either directly or through the drainage system.
To avoid pollution, the manure heap should be kept as dry as possible. This could be achieved by having a roofed storage, provided that this does not conflict with the need for adequate vehicle access. Alternatively, the heaps should be kept covered, using, for example, agricultural grade black plastic held down by tyres and bricks, which is easily removed and reused. Woven textile fabrics such as Toptex also exclude light and shed water and offer a longer lasting solution, though at a higher cost, but are invaluable if composting or field storage is being attempted. They also avoid the problems of disposing of the plastic. If composting on site is being attempted, control of the moisture content of the heaps is an essential element. The visual appearance of coverings should be considered and all attempts made to ensure a visual eye-sore is not created. This can be achieved by selecting a fabric with a dark colour which will blend in with the surrounding area, and by locating the muckheap in an area which isn't highly visible.
Consideration should also be given to odour pollution when siting storage areas. Storing manure in plastic bags helps reduce both odour and fly nuiscience, as well as containing any liquid run-off.
It is recommended that a manure heap should not exceed 2.5 meters wide and 2 metres high.
A manure heap should NOT be sited within 10 meters of a watercourse or hedgrow and 50 meters from a well, spring or borehole.

 

TRANSPORTATION OF HORSE MANURE

Whenever manure is transported, the producer must ensure that manure is adequately contained or packaged to prevent any waste (including liquid run-off) escaping from control during transportation.

 

LAND APPLICATION OF HORSE MANURE

When manure is applied to land, a few sensible precautions should be taken, for example:

1. Application rates should be in accordance with soil requirements for crop production;
2. A 10 metre margin should be left around watercourses and ditches and a 50 meter margin left around springs, wells or boreholes.
3. The use/deposit should not be allowed to cause pollution;
4. Manure should not be applied to hedgerows;
5. Weather and ground conditions must be correct to avoid pollution.

If manure is being returned to land, a calculation has to be made about how much the land can healthily take. Advice will have to be sought for each specific case, but the rule is that the nitrogen applied in the composted manure needs to be equal to the nitrogen of the crop that is harvested.



Advice and legislation refering to the handling, storage and permitted uses of chicken and rabbit manure to follow .....