The partly decomposed body of a man was found on Wednesday in undergrowth down a steep embankment in the Welsh Harp open space.

A post-mortem held this morning proved inconclusive but police are not treating the death as suspicious.

Police were called at 5.32pm yesterday after a man walking his dog found the body. They cordoned off 400 yards of path around the reservoir, with just 20 yards of path left cordoned today.

The man has been described as aged between 30 and 65 with white hair. He was wearing a beige shirt, a white or grey vest, blue jeans which were turned up with a brown leather belt an inch wide, and black shoes.

Police are appealing for anyone who may have seen this man earlier this month acting unusually to phone Colindale CID on 020 8733 4592.

Jean Ivatt, from the West Hendon Local Agenda 21, said that people often sleep rough in the Welsh Harp when the weather is good and that there had been six fires on the open space since Christmas.

"I wouldn't be surprised if a body was found every couple of years or so because there's plenty of places for people to hide a body or sleep rough if they so desired," she said.

"Neighbourhood wardens are on the local estate and therefore any miscreants go elsewhere to misbehave."

It is not the first body to be found at the Welsh Harp in recent years. The bullet-riddled body of 21-year-old Affa Negus Wadike Tikur was found in thick undergrowth on the south side of the reservoir's edge in August 2000.

June 21, 2002 15:00