The bathing water testing season has begun in the South West with monitoring teams out and about taking samples every week between now and the end of September.

Last year saw 98 per cent of the region’s 193 beaches meeting the current standards, which the Environment Agency said helps to attract the 20 millions visitors to Devon, Cornwall, Dorset and Somerset.

They will be taking nearly 4,000 samples to assess the water quality and identify and investigate sources of pollution.

Jonathan Ponting from the agency said: “Bathing water quality is tremendously good in the South West and has been for several years, but there is more work to do to drive further improvements so that beaches will meet the new tougher standards.”