Sandy Robertson, of Ballycurry Farm, with a dairy herd of 145, claimed that there was a long future ahead for dairy farming on Bute, not least because he has a son who is willing to take over from him.

"I hope that the dairy industry on Bute continues," said Mr Robertson, 44. "There are around five of us dairying on Bute who are about the same age, and we have all invested heavily in our farms, and are therefore now well equipped to keep our businesses running, provided we get a milk buyer.

"The average age of dairy farmers here is young, compared to the national average, and that is very positive for the industry. I also have a son who is due to finish school soon, and who is very keen to work on the farm, which is also great for us," he explained.