A MANHUNT has been launched after a woman was sexually assaulted in woods near Southampton.

A 31-year-old woman was attacked after she told a man who made an indecent suggestion to go away, say police.

The woman had been sitting on a fallen tree trunk while out walking in woodland off Row Down, between Roughdown Lane and Kings Copse Road, Blackfield.

She had planned to eat her lunch sometime between 11.20am and 11.50am on Saturday when the man approached her.

The victim managed to fight him off before he fled the scene.

She then called police and stopped some people nearby to ask for help.

The attacker is described as white, aged in his late 20s to early 30s, between 5’8” and 5’9” tall, medium build and having pale skin.

He was said to be wearing a dark coloured beanie style hat, dark top, blue jeans, trainers and a dark coloured fabric mask.

Following the attack he may have an injury to his eye and scratches to his face.

Officers are now appealing for information to help trace the man.

A police spokesperson said: "We're asking for anyone who thinks they saw the man in the area around that time or has any information about the incident to contact us on 101 and ask to speak to Western CID quoting 44210001443."