Diffuse Pollution Meeting a Must for Ayrshire Farmers

NFU Scotland is urging its members to attend a meeting which will cover ways in which farmers and land managers can mitigate against diffuse pollution.  SEPA diffuse pollution audits are about to begin in the River Ayr catchment and now is the time for Ayrshire farmers to find our what they can expect from the audits.

The River Ayr is one of five diffuse pollution priority catchments in Ayrshire.  The catchment covers an area of about 574 km², flowing from Glenbuck Loch at the boundary between Ayrshire and South Lanarkshire to the EU-designated bathing water at Ayr beach on the Firth of Clyde.

The main water quality concerns in the River Ayr catchment are elevated levels of faecal bacteria, phosphorous and ammonia.  SEPA staff walked the River Ayr catchment in March and April last year to identify where land management practices are affecting water quality.  They covered about 350 km of surface waters and recorded over 450 breaches of the Diffuse Pollution General Binding Rules (DP GBRs).

The next phase of the Priority catchment work is for SEPA to carry out land-based inspections within the catchments, identifying the diffuse pollution pressures and working together with land managers to reduce the risk of diffuse pollution.

NFU Scotland’s meeting on diffuse pollution will take place on Wednesday 9 March at Carlton Hotel, 187 Ayr Road, Prestwick KA9 1TP from 11am to 1pm, with lunch after the meeting.  To register for the meeting, please call NFUS Head Office on 0131 472 4000 or email

NFUS Regional Chairman, Jimmy Ireland said:

“The aim of the workshop is to inform farmers in the river Ayr and Doon catchments about some practical steps they can take to reduce the losses to their businesses from diffuse pollution, and in these days of incredibly high input costs some simple measures could reduce reliance on expensive fertilisers.

“Of course, with such high rainfall in Ayrshire, it is impossible to prevent diffuse pollution altogether, but by sparing some time and putting in place some low-cost measures such as nutrient budgeting, farmers can greatly improve Ayrshire’s waters and their bottom line.”

NFUS Ayrshire Regional Manager, Christine Cuthbertson said:

“It is important to stress that this meeting is open to ALL farmers and it is not exclusive to NFUS members.  The Scottish Government have identified five priority catchments in Ayrshire, and farmers in the Doon and Ayr rivers will be the first to have one-to-one visits carried out by SEPA staff from late March.

“I would stress that the aim of the visits are to inform rather than audit farmers and I encourage farmers to come along to find out more.”


Contact Sarah Anderson on 0131 472 4108


Date Published:

News Article No.: 38/11

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