THIEVES torched a school minibus after dumping it in a New Forest car park and removing the engine.

The vehicle belonged to Morgan's Vale and Woodfalls Primary School, which is in the north western corner of the New Forest National Park.

It was found several miles away at Shepherd's Gutter, just off the B3078 Roger Penny Way, between Bramshaw and Fritham.

Thieves removed the engine after using small tree stumps to jack up the minibus's nearside. They then set the vehicle on fire to destroy any forensic evidence.

It comes just weeks after a stolen truck was abandoned at the end of nearby Warrens Lane and set ablaze.

The truck had been used in an unsuccessful attempt to ram one of the gates at Bramshaw Golf Club and gain entry to the course.

Shepherds Gutter has recently been the scene of several fly-tipping incidents.

Morgan's Vale is on the Hampshire-Wiltshire border.

A Hampshire policespokesman said: "We located a school minibus which had been set on fire at Shepherd’s Gutter car park near Bramshaw earlier this morning.

The bus is believed to have been stolen from Morgan’s Vale and Woodfalls Primary School.

"The arson incident has been reported to Wiltshire police, who will handle the investigation as part of their enquires into the stolen vehicle."

The school has been contacted for comment.