THE body of a man was recovered from woods near Dorchester.
A local father and his son made the shock discovery during a family walk near Culpeppers Dish in Briantspuddle.
They alerted Dorset Police at 4.30pm on Friday and officers said they were treating the incident as a 'non-suspicious' death.
The father and son - who had walked ahead of other family members, friends and young children - managed to alert the rest of the group and prevent them from seeing the tragic discovery.
Briantspuddle resident Sarah Lowman, who was out with the group, has spoken of her shock at the dramatic events.
She said: “We were out walking at Culpeppers Dish with the grandchildren and went up the hill and two of our party went ahead and discovered the body.
“Luckily, the children didn't see it. It was a real shock.”
One resident, who did not wish to be named, said: “We heard that a body had been found near Culpeppers Dish on Friday afternoon.
“It is said to have been discovered by people walking through the woods who called the police.”
He added: “It's not what you expect to happen on your doorstep.”
Officers said more information on the man's identity would be released when next of kin had been notified.
A spokesman for Dorset Police said: “We are dealing with a non-suspicious death at Briantspuddle forest.
“We were contacted at 4.30pm on Friday afternoon.
“We cannot release any further information until next of kin have been informed.”
Briantspuddle is situated within the Piddle Valley near to the villages of Affpuddle, Tolpuddle and Puddletown.
Culpeppers dish is a natural sink-hole and a geological site of special scientific interest in Dorset.