Review of attitudes and awareness in the agricultural industry to diffuse pollution issues

D. Merrilees*, A. Duncan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The Scottish Executive considers 'Diffuse Pollution from Agricultural Enterprises' as a priority issue over the next 5-10 years and recognises the need to improve knowledge transfer, advice and training amongst farmers, crofters, contractors and advisers. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency commissioned SAC to survey advisory staff on diffuse pollution issues, mitigation measures and delivery of environmental advice to the farming industry. This showed that the impact of agricultural diffuse pollution on the environment is considered a serious problem as is the future impact of legislation on farm business. There is an urgent requirement to raise advisers' awareness of environmental legislation and of mitigation measures. Advisers consider that farmers have limited awareness of diffuse pollution problems but those that do would consider the impact on the environment to be serious. There is a lack of knowledge on the effectiveness of pollution mitigation measures. Better technical information, supported by research, is required. This information is best conveyed to advisers via the internet, technical notes and directly by environmental specialists and delivered on to farmers by farm visits. Lack of funds prevents most farmers adopting best management practices and more than 80% of advisers consider that environmental advice should be free.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-381
Number of pages9
JournalWater Science and Technology
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPrint publication - 3 May 2005


  • Advisory
  • Agriculture
  • Environment
  • Legislation
  • Pollution
  • Training


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