Guide

Pesticides and biocides

Controls on the use of pesticides and biocides

You must not use pesticides and biocides in or near water unless they are specifically approved for that use - find a register of approved plant protection products.

If you are planning to use a herbicide in or near to water, including by aerial spraying, you must contact the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) Water Management Unit on Tel 028 9262 3100.

Rules for aerial application of herbicides and biocides

You must contact NIEA at least 72 hours before you start spraying if you are applying pesticide to land that is within 250 metres of a waterway.

You must contact NIEA at least 72 hours before you intend to apply pesticide to land that is protected as, or is within 1,500 metres of, a:

  • local nature reserve
  • national nature reserve
  • area of special scientific interest
  • Natura 2000 site
  • wildlife refuge

Find more information on protected areas in Northern Ireland.

Before you apply pesticide, you should also notify:

  • local beekeeper groups, at least 48 hours before application
  • the district council, 24 to 48 hours before application
  • occupants or owners of property within 25 metres of the area to be treated, 24 to 48 hours before application
  • the person in charge of any school, hospital or other institution within 150 metres of the flight path, 24 to 48 hours before application