Police are appealing for help from the public to identify the body of a man found at Instow beach.

Police were called by the Coastguard yesterday (Thursday) at 2.20pm following reports that the body of a man had washed up on the beach.

Officers are now appealing for information which may help identify the man, who is thought to have been in the water for some time.

DS Gary Matthews said the body was discovered by dog walkers at around 2.15pm washed up on the beach at High Tide in Instow.

"The body of the unknown male was quite decomposed, consistent with a body being in water for some time," he said.

"With the assistance of the coastguard the body was preserved and removed from the beach and taken to North Devon District Hosptial morgue."

He has been described as a white man, around 5ft 8ins tall and of 'proportionate' build. It is believed he may have had a moustache, or at least some facial hair.

Two distinctive tattoos were found on the man's left arm. One was a red devil smoking a cigarette on his upper arm, and the other was the word 'east' within a picture on his forearm.

He was wearing a navy blue New Balance trainers, sized 10.5, and was wearing two rubber wrist bands, one in support of Wales Online Cancer Research, and one featuring a heart.

DS Matthews added: "The key priority is to identify the male so we can notify and support his next of kin and family.

"Once we identify him we can do our investigative work and determine if there has been any criminality, at the moment there is no obvious evidence of foul play.

"It could well be that this male isn't local but the tide and currents have brought him down from elsewhere.

"We have made enquiries with neighbouring forces to establish if they have any missing people but this appeal is for any one with any information."

Anyone with any information that can assist detectives is asked to contact police on 101, quoting EN/969/19.