A MAN has been rushed to hospital after being beaten with a metal bar in Southampton woodland.

Police patrols have been stepped up after the 49-year-old man was attacked near Wadhurst Gardens.

The man hit him with the metal bar before running off in the directions of Netley following the incident, which happened between 5pm and 6pm on Thursday, September 26.

The victim was left with a serious head injury that required hospital treatment.

The attacker is described as being white, pale, freckled, and had ginger hair cropped on the sides and long on the top with a fringe.

He was about 25 years old, six feet four inches tall, of a large, muscular build, and had a piercing in his left ear.

At the time of the attack he was wearing dark jeans and a faded denim jacket.

PC Charlene Roberts said: "I am appealing to anyone who recognises the description of this man to come forward and assist us with this investigation.

"This man’s appearance is distinctive and this incident happened during the day - I believe someone must have seen him or knows who he is.

"The woods are enjoyed by many people and although incidents like this are very rare, we have increased patrols in the area. Please be alert to anyone in the area acting suspiciously. Call 101 or 999.

"If you can help us with this investigation, please ring 101 and quote 44170377081."