Police hope to solve the puzzle of a blue and white boat left on the roadside outside Malmesbury by reuniting it with its original owner.

The boat, which has no registration plate and no engine, was left at the side of Foxley Road between 10pm on Monday and 9.30am yesterday.

Malmesbury police Sergeant Martin Alvis said: “It’s completely odd. It’s not unusual to have an abandoned car or some scrap, but for a boat to turn up is slightly unusual. It’s not as if we’re near the sea.

“It would have been handy when we had that wet weather a while back. There’s no doubt that this has been stolen and someone is missing it.

“The engine has been taken off, that’s another thing, but I don’t think they’d steal the whole boat to take the engine.”

The boat, which came on a trailer, was reported by a nearby farmer who is keeping it on his land until someone contacts the police to claim it.

PCSO Durry Maule said: “It’s quite strange. We have no idea who it belongs to, which is why we have put out this appeal.

“It’s a narrow road, so it needed to be removed, but the local person who found it has kindly been able to remove it so it wasn’t causing a problem.”

To get in touch with the police call 101.