Two women stripped down to bikinis and submerged themselves in a bath of milk in Kendal town centre as part of a national dairy protest.

Catherine Park, 21, whose family run a dairy farm in Whinfell, and her friend Amy Harrison embarked on the stunt to highlight the financial plight of Britain’s milk producers.

Although price cuts due to come in on August 1 were rescinded by key processing firms, dairy farmers are continuing their campaign to establish long-term price stability for milk.

The bathtub was filled with 200 litres of milk at Kendal’s Bird Cage on Monday.

"My family have really struggled," said Ms Park, a Young Farmers’ Club member. "I wanted to do something to help raise awareness about the problem."

Windermere councillor Ben Berry, who organised the protest, said the 'general public were just as disgusted with supermarkets as the farmers'.

"I'm as unhappy as everyone else," said Coun Berry. "I think it's important for everyone to come out and show their support."

Dozens of farmers turned out for the protest, staging a small demonstration outside the Iceland store in Highgate.

Young farmer Chris Ladds, 19, said he would like to see supermarkets made to pay a fairer price.

"Dairy farmers need to be paid more money for their work. It's unfair for the supermarkets to take all the profit."

Derek Lomax, Kendal-based group secretary at NFU, said: "When a pint of milk costs more than a pint of water that comes out of the ground then its ridiculous."

Cumbria county councillor for Lower Kentdale Roger Bingham said if payments by supermarkets did not change then the UK would be in danger of losing its dairy industry.

"If we had to lose our cattle then England's green and pleasant land would be at risk of peril," said Mr Bingham.

The protest group SOS Dairy met at Carlisle on Tuesday to seek a way of achieving long-term price stability for Cumbria’s dairy farms. It was addressed by DFU Dairy Board chairman Mansel Raymond and chief dairy advisor Robert Newbery.

Thousands of dairy farmers are currently paid around 3p a litre less than milk costs to produce.