WILD swimmers in Largs are being warned not to take to the sea after heavy rainfall in the area - despite local beaches being praised for their cleanliness and water quality.

The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) have given 'good ratings' to Largs and other local beaches in their 2022 report, but say bathers still run the risk of falling ill.

At Largs beach, a risk of wet weather-driven short term pollution has been identified from 'agricultural run-off and combined sewer emergency overflows'.

A SEPA spokesperson said: "There is a risk that water pollution may occur in Largs after heavy rainfall.

"Bathing is not advised for one to two days afterwards.

"This is due to the risk to bathers’ health from water pollution."

In terms of bathing water status, all the beaches in the North Coast including Largs, Millport and Seamill were rated 'good' - with Prestwick the only beach in Ayrshire to receive an 'excellent' award.

Electronic messaging signs at Largs beach provide real-time predictions of water quality during the swimming season, which runs between June 1 and September 15.

During this time SEPA’s specialist teams sample the water to give a flow of up to date data.

Local councillor Tom Marshall told the News he would like to see more done to improve the quality of local beaches and waters.

He siad: "I think South Ayrshire Council does a lot more to care for their beaches than we do. Troon and Prestwick are raked or cleaned on a regular basis and despite Todd Ferguson and myself pushing our council hard, they just refuse to clean ours to the same standard. Largs Pencil Beach has been strewn with seaweed over recent days and there is no sign of anything being done to remedy it.

"I think over the years Scottish Water have invested a lot of money to improve and prevent the storm overflows, but that is made more difficult by rainfall.

"People just need to listen to this advice and act accordingly to safeguard their health."