Four wild swimming spots have been designated as bathing waters ahead of summer.

The sites in Rutland, Devon and Suffolk will receive bathing water status from next month, the Government has announced.

This means they will soon benefit from regular water-quality monitoring.

Sykes Lane Bathing Beach and Whitwell Creek at Rutland Water, Firestone Bay in Plymouth and a section of the River Deben at Waldringfield, Suffolk, will be officially designated ahead of the 2023 bathing water season.

They take the total number of official bathing waters across the country to 424, the highest recorded.

The Government said the proportion of bathing waters assessed as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ has increased from 76% to 93%, while 72% are considered ‘excellent’ compared with 51% in 2010.

This is despite classification standards for bathing waters being made stricter in 2015, it claims.

The announcement follows the publication last week of the Government’s Plan For Water, which said water companies could face unlimited fines for dumping raw sewage in rivers, and outlined proposals which could see wet wipes containing plastic banned.

Labour said the plan amounted to a rehash of old policies and claimed the measures would not stop sewage being dumped.

Water minister Rebecca Pow said: “These popular swimming spots will now undergo regular monitoring, starting this May, so bathers have up-to-date information on the quality of the water.

“The regular monitoring also means that action can be taken if minimum standards aren’t being met.

“We now have more bathing waters than ever, and we’ve worked hard in recent years to boost their status – with an incredible 93% now classed as good or excellent – and our new Plan For Water will help us go further and faster on our targets.”

The Environment Agency will take regular samples at the newly designated sites during the bathing season – which runs between May 15 and September 30.

It will assess whether action is needed to cut pollution levels and works with local communities, farmers and water companies to improve water quality at the sites.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs says when it selects new swimming sites, it considers how many people bathe there, if the site has suitable infrastructure and facilities, such as toilets, and where investment in water quality improvements following designation would have the most impact.

Only those applications that meet these factors are taken forward to public consultation.