Scottish Land and Estates (SL&E) has launched an initiative to focus on the scourge of rubbish dumping, a problem which is estimated to cost more than £50m per annum.

The organisation, which represents land-based businesses across Scotland, launched "Care for the Countryside" in response to persistent difficulties with fly-tipping that have been identified by those who live and work in rural areas. Other topics for the public awareness campaign include responsible dog ownership - including action around livestock worrying - and responsible mountain-biking, looking at the problem of unauthorised trail building on rural land.

Care for the Countryside's work around fly-tipping is designed to ask for the public's help in reporting incidents of rubbish dumping whilst also understanding the huge cost implications for rural businesses who fall victim to fly-tipping on their land.

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Fly-tipping has been an increasing problem for farms and estates across Scotland, especially for those in urban fringe locations. The majority of fly-tipping incidents in Scotland occur on private land, with landowners left to bear the responsibility and cost of the clean-up operation which can often extend to thousands of pounds and in the process, create financial problems for businesses already operating on tight budgets.

Karen Ramoo, Policy Officer at SL&E hopes the campaign will increase awareness about the problems of fly-tipping and the damage it does to our land and rivers. She said: "Scotland's rural areas are there to be enjoyed by everyone and we want people to visit and not be put off by selfish acts of fly-tipping by a mindless minority."

Market round-up

United Auctions sold 577 store heifers at Stirling on Wednesday to average 211p per kg (-2.1p on the week) and 664 store, beef-bred bullocks that levelled at 215.8p (no change). One-hundred-and-fifty-four store, B&W bullocks averaged 150.8p (no change) and 68 store bulls levelled at 232.2p (no comparison).

C&D Auction Marts Ltd sold 11 prime heifers in Dumfries on Wednesday to a top of 231p and an average of 207.7p.

In the rough ring 40 beef cows sold to 153p and averaged 126p, while 42 dairy cows peaked at 154p and levelled at 109p.

The firm also sold 1090 prime lambs to a top of £90 per head and 200p per kg to average 168p (-3.6p).

A large show of 770 cast sheep saw heavy ewes sell to £108.50 for Texels and average £66, while light ewes peaked at £64.50 for Cheviots and levelled at £44.

Messrs Craig Wilson Ltd sold 752 prime lambs in Newton Stewart on Wednesday to a top of £84.50 and 173.9p to average 163p (-13.5p).