DUNSTER beach has been offered an unwelcome ‘Brown Flag’ for being one of the dirtiest bathing waters in the country.

The award is the polar opposite of prestigious Blue Flags which are flown over beaches kept in tip top condition and having good facilities for visitors.

‘Brown Flags’ are judged by travel blog site Holiday Park Guru, which awards them to beaches achieving the lowest possible rating.

Holiday Park Guru analysed Environment Agency summer water quality data from hundreds of beaches

It offers ‘winners’ a complimentary brown flag featuring a poo emoji to display for swimmers.

The beaches are rated by the agency as ‘poor’ due to bacteria such as e-coli from sewage and other waste.

Just one in 10 of Somerset’s designated bathing spots is considered ‘excellent’ for the quality of their sea water in summer, including Porlock Weir.

Keen sea swimmer Robbie Lane, from Holiday Park Guru said: “We are hoping to make a real splash with the launch of England’s first ever ‘Brown Flag Awards’.

“Commiserations to our winners this year, you really are top of the plops.

“On a more positive note, high praise is warranted for beaches with the top rating for their water quality, including Porlock Weir.

“With a bit of research, there is a good chance you will be the only thing floating in the sea this summer.”

Mr Lane said water quality readings were only from May to September, and sea water quality tended to be worse in winter after heavy rain.