Current levels of nitrogen deposition, especially ammonia, seriously impact upon ecosystems biological diversity. However, land use policy maintaining and enhancing key ecosystems in the UK in most cases does not explicitly take account of this pollution in terms of onsite management prescriptions. In this paper the economic potential of agricultural land retirement to reduce localised nitrogen deposition is examined. Employing a case study that combines nitrogen deposition modelling and agricultural land use change, reductions in nitrogen deposition necessary to reverse the loss of floral diversity are examined. The results indicate that agricultural land retirement is in principle a potentially useful policy instrument for dealing with nitrogen deposition from extensive livestock production.