THE body of a newborn baby has been found abandoned in Lostock.

The body was found by walkers in Ox Hey Lane, Lostock, on Thursday evening.

A police cordon has been set up around the area, which is close to the Bolton Wanderers' academy training ground.

Police said they were called to the street at about 4.55pm on Thursday and found the body of what is believed to be a newborn baby wrapped up in clothes and plastic bags.

They also recovered a note that requested the baby receive an Islamic burial.

Police said the age, sex and ethnicity of the baby are not known, nor is it clear whether the baby was live or stillborn.

Ch Insp Carol Martin, from Bolton police, said: “Obviously this is an extremely upsetting incident and our investigation at the moment is twofold: finding out how and when the baby died and locating the parents.

“I cannot begin to imagine what either parent may be going through and we are very worried about their physical and emotional state.

“It is likely the mother in particular will require some form of medical attention and I want to appeal directly to both parents or anyone who knows them to contact police or visit your GP or local hospital.

“It is vitally important that I stress support networks are in place and are waiting and on hand to help the parents.

“While we cannot speculate on the ethnicity of either parent, there was a note left requesting the baby receive an Islamic burial and we have already reached out to the Muslim community through their Friday prayers through our partnership connections at the Bolton Council of Mosques.

“The answer undoubtedly lies somewhere in the community and I want to ask the Bolton community as a whole whether they know of anyone who may have tried to conceal a birth or who recently have been pregnant but now is without a baby or appears withdrawn, upset or in physical discomfort.

“I also want to appeal to residents in the Lostock area who perhaps use Ox Hey Lane for running, cycling or walking on a frequent or daily basis: have you noticed a pile of what appeared to be clothing and plastic bags in the shrubbery off the tarmacked area recently? Likewise were you there over the last day or two or three and did not see anything like this?

“If so, please call us.”

Anyone with information can call police on 101.