A Norfolk beach popular among tourists has been named among the UK's most contaminated.

Water at the beach in Heacham near Hunstanton, was said to be unsafe for people to enter due to long and short sea outfalls of sewage and tidal movements stirring up sediment in the water causing it to become cloudy.

The warning comes as part of new research from Surfers Against Sewage's Safer Seas Service, which has found more than 50 beaches in England and Wales are unsafe to swim in.

A report on Heacham beach revealed it had received a "poor" annual classification by the charity.

It comes after untreated sewage was discharged into the sea around the south coast, which Southern Water said was to protect homes and businesses following heavy rain.

The Safer Seas Service report said Heacham had not seen a direct discharge of sewage in its waters.

The research states: "Bathing not advised due to poor annual classification. Forming part of a huge stretch of sand, Heacham or Stubborn Sands is a gently sloping sand beach fronting a popular Norfolk seaside resort.

"With mudflats to the south, looking into the Wash, Heacham is backed by sand dunes and a large holiday park. The sea is cloudy here due to tidal movements stirring up the sediment.

"There are no sewer overflows discharging directly onto the beach but there are long and short sea outfalls at Hunstanton."

Hugo Tagholm, CEO of Surfers Against Sewage, said: "Our rivers and beaches are once again being treated as open sewers.

"Years of underinvestment is now in plain sight."

In a statement, the Environment Agency said the pollution could be "devastating to human health, local biodiversity and our environment", and added it would not "hesitate to act to eliminate the harm sewage discharges cause to the environment".