DETECTIVES have ruled out foul play following the discovery of a body in a Holmbridge beauty spot.
The body of a 66-year-old man was found by a construction worker in woods next to a picnic area off Brownhill Lane, overlooking Ramsden Reservoir, on Tuesday afternoon.
It is understood he had head injuries and police cordoned the area off while they looked into the possibility his death was suspicious.
But a post mortem carried out yesterday afternoon revealed he had died of natural causes.
The picnic area is next to a construction site for workers carrying out repairs at the reservoir.
It is understood one of the men from the site found the body.
Detectives carried out house-to-house inquiries near the scene yesterday morning.
They have not yet officially named the dead man.
But people living nearby said it was Mr Hirst, who lived on Dobb Top Road, roughly half a mile from the spot where he was found.
One neighbour, who did not want to be named, said Mr Hirst had lived in the area for at least 30 years.
He was a self-employed joiner by trade who had given up work about three years ago due to illness.
He had renovated an old coach house, where he lived alone.
There was no sign of any disturbance at the house, and no police activity.
It is not thought Mr Hirst had any children.
The neighbour said: “I'm shocked. I knew him since the early 70s, but he was very much a loner who kept himself to himself.
“We used to chat while we were mowing the lawn or whatever, like neighbours do.”
Another neighbour said: “We only saw him last week. There didn’t seem to be anything wrong with him at the time.”
Inquiries are continuing.