Friends of the Earth says, across the whole of England, a popular Isle of Wight beach was worst hit by sewage in 2023.

The environment group has revealed more than 440,000 hours of sewage was released along England’s coastline last year - including for over 5,000 hours at Cowes.

The shocking data has been released as comedian, Nish Kumar, fronts a spoof news report about the opening of a new tourist attraction, called Sh*t Beach.

He has warned the dire situation is no joke.

According to Friends of the Earth, second to Cowes when it came to sewage spills in 2023 was Meadfoot, in Torbay. Plymouth Hoe West was third worst.

Meanwhile, emergency clean-up work was required in Cowes earlier this month, when sewage began spewing from a drain cover on Terminus Road and Park Road, while children walked past.

In November, fat, oil and grease was blamed for an "unpleasant" sewage issue at Cross Street, for which Southern Water apologised.

Southern Water has previously said that parts of Cowes have 'a complicated sewer system.'

Across the River Medina, an 'issue with the pumping station' led to a sewage spill in a children's play park in East Cowes, in March.

Friends of the Earth's 2023 data analysis focusses around Cowes' beach and coastline, meanwhile.

Environment Agency data on sewage overflow outlets was analysed, to calculate the number and duration of spills directly into the sea and estuaries and near swimming waters.

Friends of the Earth found there were 68,481 incidents of sewage released into England’s seas in 2023, totalling 440,446 hours.

More than a quarter of these, some 117,584 hours over 21,213 spills, were within 1.9 miles (3km) of a bathing spot, the assessment found.

It is not the first time the area has come bottom of the pile when it comes to sewage spills.

Nish Kumar said: “If we don’t act now, we’ll all be swapping our swimmers for hazmat suits and packing an E. coli testing kit before hitting the great British seaside this summer.

“We can’t let water companies have the last laugh."

Kierra Box, nature campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said Nish's film was a spoof but “could be a taste of what’s to come, if the Government doesn’t force water companies to clean up their act."