TWO sophisticated cannabis farms have been discovered in houses in a quiet suburban street in Bolton.

The semi-detached homes in Queen's Avenue, Bromley Cross, had been converted into drug growing operations - complete with heat lamps, complicated watering systems and fans.

Hundreds of plants were discovered on Tuesday afternoon by the landlord of the houses, which had been rented out, during a routine visit.

Police officers described the downstairs rooms of one house as being "like a jungle".

Forensic examinations have been carried out at the houses - numbers 116 and 120, which are two doors apart - and hundreds of plants of the Class C drug have been seized.

It is thought about 200 mature plants were growing in one house and a further 200 saplings at the second address.

Police were called to Queen's Avenue at about 4pm on Tuesday after the stunned landlord uncovered the operation and saw two men fleeing the scene.

Foil and plastic sheeting had been used to cover the windows of the properties from the inside and plastic covered the floor where hundreds of plants were growing.

The growers had installed fans, heaters and lights which dangerously overloaded the electricity supply.

Neighbours have spoken of their shock after the farms were discovered in the street, which is mainly made up of semi-detached homes.

One neighbour said: "Some lads moved in to one of the houses a few months ago but I never saw much of them.

"I presumed that was because they were working long hours and sometimes you would hear them coming and going at night.

"The police turned up and have been going in and out with their forensic suits since then, carrying all sorts of bags and boxes.

"It's a big shock because the area is so quiet but perhaps that's why they chose it."

Police also recovered horticultural supplies including compost and plant food from the houses.

Det Chief Insp George Fawcett of Bolton CID said: "A sophisticated hydroponic system was being used throughout the houses in order to grow the plants.

"It would have taken those responsible some considerable effort to carry the equipment into the house and then set it up.

"The wiring used to power the system was extremely dangerous and could easily have caused a fire to the house or the attached occupied dwelling.

"Early indications are that at least two males have been involved and are described as being Oriental in appearance."

Anybody with information is asked to contact Bolton Drugs Unit on 0161 856 5796 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.