An ANNUAL campaign promoting better care for Ayrshire beaches has come to an end for the year, with almost two-thirds of people saying they are willing to take better care of their local coastal sites.

The My Beach, Your Beach campaign, organised by the Keep Scotland Beautiful charity, aims to improve water quality at Scottish beaches by changing attitudes and behaviour.

The charity hopes to promote the removal of dog waste at the sites, whilst discouraging people from discarding food and rubbish by engaging with communities and locals businesses.

Following this year’s event, 63 per cent of people said they are happy to pick up litter when visiting nearby beaches to leave them cleaner than they found them.

The project has been running at Ayr beach since 2018, with Troon and Irvine being included for the first time this year.

Compared to pre-campaign levels, Ayr beach saw a 78 per cent reduction in the amount of litter on site last year. Despite the COVID restrictions in place throughout the summer, the charity still managed to engage the community online.

Campaign manager Paul Wallace praised locals for their response and said: “This summer, our local neighbourhoods became even more precious to many of us.

“For those lucky to live here by the beach, the unprecedented pressures of more people taking holidays and day trips in Scotland, consuming more single-use items and take-away food and using limited services, such as toilets and bins, were felt.”

Councillor Ian Cochrane, environment portfolio holder for South Ayrshire Council, said: “This is a highly effective campaign. They have helped raise awareness around feeding gulls, dog fouling and rubbish.

“We have a growing number of volunteers helping with litter picks, which is very much appreciated.”