Land & environment planning

Land & environment planning

In order to meet community expectations and to comply with the law, the quality of water run-off from many farms needs to be improved. This means managing stock so that soil erosion and the run-off of nutrients and sediment is minimised. In addition, waterways may need to be fenced and measures taken to eliminate run-off from critical source areas like wallows and feed pads.

A growing library of convenient DINZ Deer Fact sheets on environmental subjects is being published as part of the P2P programme. 

-  Protecting waterways from wallow and feed pad run-off
-  Fence pacing: costs and solutions
Farm Environmental Plans – the whys and hows of preparing them
-  Effective nutrient management on deer farms
-  Planning for winter - Best options for deer and their environment
-  Intensive winter feeding - Minimising the environmental risk
-  Make your native bush sing
-  Trees for deer farms

Print off your own copies here >>

Water quality
Water quality is the single most important environmental issue that farmers need to be aware of.  Soil and nutrients belong on the land, not in water. New Zealand needs fertile land, not fertile water.  For further information on the importance of water quality see the NIWA clean rivers report

Soil quality
Soil is the deer farmer's most precious natural resource. The quality and health of soil pre-determines the land’s basic potential to grow grass and thus its capability to maintain a high level of farm productivity.

Quality management of water and soil
Water and soil quality are closely linked and in order to confidently farm without compromising the quality of these basic farming resources, deer farmers need to have a quality farm environment management system. To help achieve this, the deer industry has adopted an environment management system in common with the New Zealand beef and lamb industry which is known as Land and Environment Planning ('LEP').  To understand about LEP in detail, see the toolkit developed by Beef + Lamb New Zealand.  

Regional Management of water quality
A stock take of all the regional councils' approaches to managing water quality and the significance for deer farming (in terms of nitrogen, phosphorous, bacteria and sediment) was completed in March 2015.  Please refer to the Science and Policy section under the DINZ Activity tab for links to the stock-take or further update

Land and Environment Planning - B+LNZ Toolkits

Knowledge is power. The more you understand about your property, its soil types, pasture varieties/age,  the property's vulnerable areas, strong areas, the better prepared you can be when it comes to making management decisions and dealing with harsh environmental conditions. Mapping this out and writing it down enhances the likelihood of efficient management of areas identified through this process.There is nothing like raising awareness to get some action on the ground.

Land and Environment Planning (LEP) toolkits by Beef + Lamb NZ include workbooks and guidelines for three different levels of planning, examples of completed plans from around New Zealand, and a handy reference guide.

It aims to help you manage your farm sustainably, through addressing the environmental factors that make your farm unique.

Check out the different workbooks and guidelines for level 1, 2 and 3 in the Tools section ( or head to for more detailed plans for certain areas (Waikato, Gisborne, Hawke's Bay, Canterbury and Southland).

Have a go at Level 1, this should only take you 20 minutes! If you have already undertaken a lot of farm development, or beautification, this 3 level process reinforces the steps you have taken to ensure you are on the right track - a bit like a checklist.

Check out the videos below from Beef+Lamb NZ's series on LEPs and their High Country Lake Catchments Environment project (5 videos in total, will autoplay one after another).

As soil resources are finite and only slowly renewable, their sustainable management is of prime importance.

NZ Landcare Trust has worked with deer farmers to capture examples of excellent sustainable land and water management from around the country. This information has been distilled into fifteen short videos.

Soil is the deer farmer's most precious resource and any movement of soil away from where it has naturally formed is erosion.

The buffer zone between land and water source.
Deer have a natural instinct to seek water and wet areas and wallow in them .

Water can be contaminated by a number of elements, chemicals and waste products from the farm as well as direct access by deer

Winter can be a critical time for erosion of soil on deer farms.