Newborn baby found dead in woodland in Rochdale

image captionGreater Manchester Police said it was called to reports that the body of a baby had been found

A body of a newborn baby has been found in woodland, police have said.

The remains were found near Peel Lane in Heywood, Rochdale, at about 07:10 BST.

Greater Manchester Police, which initially said the child had been found in a field, is searching a large wooded area.

A cordon remains in place, and detectives have appealed for anyone with information about the death to contact them.

image captionPolice officers are searching the scene

The woodland is part of Roch Valley Woods and is popular with local families, dog walkers and children.

Millie Crosdale and Jess Hawkins, both 18 and live locally, laid flowers by the police cordon.

"It is heartbreaking really, all you can do is come and pay your respects," Ms Crosdale said.

Ms Hawkins said: "This is where we all come down in the summer and it's nice, when it's snowing you bring your kids down with the sleds.

"You wouldn't think something like that would happen here."

At the scene

Stuart Pollitt, BBC North West Tonight

Around a dozen police officers have been scouring this woodland, and police dogs have also been seen inside the large cordon.

The baby was discovered at the bottom of a hill in parkland off Peel Lane.

Already some local people have been delivering teddy bears and flowers to the site after hearing the news.

One mother who brought a teddy was in tears as she told me she felt moved to pay her respects as she has a nine-day-old baby herself.

Hearing the news this morning made her feel emotional, she said.

Even though the site is a fair distance from any homes, this incident had touched people here.

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