A man was hurled down a steep bank in a shocking assault this weekend.

Police are appealing for witnesses following the incident, which took place on a byway near Avebury.

At around 3.30pm on Sunday January 24 a man in his 50s - out walking with his family - was verbally and physically assaulted by another man belonging to a group of off-road drivers.

Following an altercation with the group, the victim was thrown down a steep bank and forced into a puddle; both he and his family were then verbally abused by members of the group.

Fortunately, the victim was not seriously injured.

The assault took place on the top of the byway which runs from Avebury Trusloe to the trees by Windmill Hill.

Police are now hunting for a man they believe is responsible.

He is described as white, in his mid-late 20s, 5ft 10ins tall, of heavy build with light brown hair, a goatee beard and moustache.

It's believed he was driving a Land Rover with customised wheels. There were other vehicles involved, some of which did not have registrations plates.

However, police believe that one of the registration plates contained the numbers 141 and letters BRM.

PC Angela Holden said: "Despite the remote location we are asking if anyone out for a walk or run in this part of rural Wiltshire heard or saw anything suspicious during this afternoon.

"Perhaps you saw a convoy of off-road vehicles in the area or recognise the descriptions given.

"Please contact us on 101, quoting crime reference number 54210008149, if you can help."

You can also report anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Military Police have recently clamped down on gatherings of off-road vehicles.

Previously, a group from Reading forced walkers to jump off paths as they sped across the Salisbury Plain.

In November, a group of around 30 cars caused havoc, churning up the path and leaving people fearing for their lives.