AS SUMMER finally starts, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency is encouraging farmers and land managers to play their part in improving water quality at Ayr South, one of Scotland’s busiest bathing beaches.

The agency noted that most farmers have already been working hard to reduce run-off pollution – but added that the ‘small number’ of farmers who continue not to comply could face Fixed Monetary Penalty of up to £600 per non-compliance.

Work by SEPA and local farmers since 2011 has led to a 50% reduction in the number of non-compliant sites in the catchment, and around 90% of farms in the area are now fully compliant in ensuring their practices are not negatively affecting watercourses.