DORSET beaches have the cleanest waters in England, according to a new league table. 

Almost 90 per cent of the county’s beaches are rated as ‘excellent’ for clean water in summer, according to data from the Environment Agency analysed by Holiday Park Guru. 

It means no beaches here have been given the ‘brown flag award’ - handed to beaches that have dirty beaches with bacteria such as e-coli from sewage and other waste. 

Those on the ‘brown’ list include Bognor Regus in Susses and Porthluney in Cornwall and have been awarded with a complimentary brown flag featuring a poo emoji. 

Bournemouth Echo: Bournemouth beach on Saturday, May 4

Sea swimmer Robbie Lane, of Holiday Park Guru, said: “Commiserations to our 13 winners this year – you really are top of the plops.  

“We just hope they’ll take up our offer of a free brown flag, although I’m afraid we can’t quite afford to provide a flagpole as well.” 

Dorset’s beaches have been recognised for their cleanliness with a wave of blue flag awards. 

Alum Chine, Durley Chine, Manor Steps, Fisherman’s Walk and Southbourne beaches have received the prestigious awards. 

Although that doesn’t mean Dorset’s coast is squeaky clean; data from the Environment Agency shows sewage from storm overflows was flowing into water bodies in Bournemouth, Christchurch, and Poole for 2,405 hours in 2023, during 444 spills.  

This was up from 953 hours recorded the year before when there were 336 spills in the area. 

All of these were from facilities operated by Wessex Water. 

Jade Chapman from Surfers Against Sewage said to “not fall for the spin”, adding “the deluge of s*** pouring into our rivers and seas is a generational scandal”. 

The Environment Agency and Wessex Water said this rise may be partly due to the country experiencing its sixth-wettest year on record. 

Wessex Water said it is investing £3m a month to improve its “outdated” storm overflows. 

Environment Agency data also reveals there were 464,056 spills in 2023, up 54 per cent from 301,091 in 2022. 

The number of sewage discharges in the south west has skyrocketed by 89.5 per cent, from 41,453 sewage spills in 2023, compared to 21,878 in 2022.