It’s a brave thing, publishing details of all the hospitality that your board members and senior staff accept in the course of their work. But for regulatory agencies responsible for ensuring our safety and protecting our environment, it’s necessary.

So we commend the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) for making available all the details of the meals and gifts it has received from industry figures and others over the last two years. But it should now be prepared to respond to what the public think.

As we report today, there are certain industries that have repeatedly paid for Sepa’s food: salmon farmers, whisky producers and power companies. The trouble is, as we have often reported, they can also be big polluters and have been criticised for their environment record in the past.

The industries clearly have much to gain by wining and dining Sepa executives, but Sepa has much to lose. The fear is that Sepa will be softer on the bosses it has broken bread with - it is a matter of perception.

Sepa adamantly denies any idea that it would go easy on industry for the sake of a decent dinner. And of course, it has to talk to industry, and try and encourage good performance. But does it really need to do this in hotels and restaurants over food and wine?

We worry about the extent to which Sepa is accepting hospitality, and we think many share our concerns. If it wants to keep public trust, Sepa should consider changing its ways.