MORE of the Isle of Wight's most popular beaches are now officially designated as having 'excellent' water quality.
Of the 14 designated bathing waters, Sandown and Gurnard have both improved to the best status and the remaining 12 all remain good or excellent.
Richard O’Callaghan, from the Environment Agency, said: “We are delighted to see such good results for the Isle of Wight again this year, and particularly the improvements in Gurnard and Sandown. 
"We work hard with our partners to maintain and improve the water quality of our beaches for everyone to enjoy. In fact, water quality at our beaches is better now than at any time since the Industrial Revolution.
“These results show how important it is that everyone continues to value their local bathing water beaches."
He said among initiatives that had played a part was that of the 1st Sandown and Lake Sea Scouts.
"October saw them painting the town with yellow fish with the message ‘only rain down the drain’ as they reminded people that what you put down the road drains goes straight to the nearest watercourse – whether that be the local pond, stream, river, estuary or beach.
“They have done an excellent job in staging the first ever yellow fish environmental campaign on the Island, and we’d love others to join in too. It’s open to anyone, and it’s a great way to bring your local community together for a common purpose. 
"You can find out more by searching for ‘yellow fish’ on"