Nutrient neutrality principles: Natural England technical information note TIN186.

Published online
09 Sep 2022
Published by
Natural England
Content type

Wood, A. & Wake, H. & McKendrick-Smith, K.
Contact email(s)

Publication language
UK & England


This report defines nutrient neutrality and presents a number of principles that Natural England advices on any neutrality that relies on in an Appropriate Assessment (AA) should follow. The report also presents Natural England's experience in their use of their current Diffuse Water Pollution Plans and Nutrient Management Plans (DWPPs/NMPs), which may not necessarily provide sufficient certainty to enable a conclusion of no adverse effect on site integrity where plans or projects contribute additional nutrient loading. In such cases, it may be possible to further develop the DWPPs/NMPs to move them to a place where they do have sufficient certainty in the future to rely on them in an AA, as a longer-term solution. Whilst current DWPP/NMPs may not be sufficiently certain to rely on in a Habitats Regulations Assessment so nutrient neutrality is not needed, they can still be important in informing adoption of nutrient neutrality for a given scheme. They will help to provide an understanding of the risk of the development undermining actions by others to deliver the restore target e.g. whether there are indeed only a limited pool of measures available and whether maintaining the current nutrient contribution of the development and any avoidance land will undermine site restoration.

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