Swimmers have been advised against going into the water at a popular coastal spot due to an outbreak of harmful algae.

Tourists and locals have been told by South Hams District Council and the Environment Agency to avoid going in the water at Mothecombe beach, on the mouth of the Erme Estuary.

A spokesman for the Environment Agency issued a statement saying: "Bathing is not advised at Mothecombe, due to pollution from harmful algae."The Environment Agency states that blooms of toxic algae are rare in English coastal waters.It advises that some non-toxic blooms can be mistaken for sewage pollution. One of the most common bloom-forming algae in English coastal waters forms a brown, frothy scum. You can’t tell if an algal bloom in the sea, a lake or river is toxic just by looking at it, so it’s safest to assume it is. Keep pets and children away from the water and avoid skin contact with the water or algae.