A council is warning residents not to go in the water at a beach in Southend.

Residents who will be flocking to the beach as the UK experiences its hottest days of the year are being warned to avoid swimming at a section of a beach in the city.

Southend Council says it has been made aware of reports of algal blooms on the Thames on Thorpe Bay beach, near the Roslin Hotel.

A spokesman for the council said on Twitter: "This is a natural occurrence and increases rapidly in hot weather.

"This will clear naturally but we are advising residents and visitors to avoid swimming at this section until it clears."

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Blooms of toxic algae are rare in English coastal waters, however government advice warns members of the public can't tell if an algal bloom in the sea is toxic just by looking at it.

Therefore, it is safest to assume it is and to keep away from the water.

One of the most common bloom-forming algae in English coastal waters forms a "brown frothy scum".

This warning comes as today has been confirmed the hottest day of the year so far, as health officials warn that Friday will be even hotter.

The temperature is expected to hit 34C in the southeast and temperatures are predicted to push up to 30C across much of England and Wales.

The UK Health Security Agency has issued a heat health alert for Essex due to the dangerously hot temperatures. 

The agency warns the heat poses a danger to at-risk groups including the elderly and those with chronic health conditions.