AN investigation has been launched after a suspected arson attack on a van in Moses Gate Country Park.

Firefighters were called to the incident at 9.25pm on Sunday, and discovered a Ford Transit van which was engulfed in flames in the park’s grounds.

A crew from Farnworth Fire Station worked at the scene for about an hour to put out the fire.

The vehicle’s owner was not in attendance, and the fire service are investigating the circumstances surrounding the fire.

The livery on the van suggested it belonged to Adactus Housing Association, however, the company has said it has had no reports of stolen or missing vehicles from its fleet.

A spokesman for Adactus added: "This is an old leased vehicle no longer in our possession that once bared our branding. We renew our fleet regularly and remove any branding from any vehicles accordingly once they go out of use.”

Steve Coote, watch manager at Farnworth Fire Station, said: “Our advice to people if they see something like that is to stay away and phone us. Do not go investigating.”

The van was still in the park early afternoon yesterday.

Walkers using the park say it has been blighted by anti-social behaviour over the past few months, with drug dealing and off-road bikers having become a regular occurrence.

Jim Holland, aged 78, who lives in Crescent Road, Bolton, walks his dog in the park twice a day.

He said: “A lot of people use this park regularly, but it is not a safe environment to bring children down to.

“If you have a dog on the lead, you have to yank them out of the way of the bikers.

“There is a lack of police presence down here and there are no park rangers anymore.

“Something needs to be done or else someone is going to get killed.”