Update 2: A van has apparently been driven around Riverside Park and then abandoned having been set on fire.
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The vehicle is on the field off the path that leads from The Glimpse, or beach area, up to the pavilion, next to trees.
“We saw a white van that had been burnt out completely,” a walker told bitternepark.info on Thursday (Nov 9).
“There was nothing left of the upholstery. There was nothing of it,” she said. “It was just metal – the springs there for the seats.
“It smelt of burning. It wasn’t still smouldering though.”
She added that it had clearly been driven around the park before being set on fire, and appeared to have come off the path onto the grass, “and gone round and round quite a lot, and criss-crossed here and there”.
She said the vehicle hasn’t been cordoned off but a sticker on the side of the van, which appeared to have been applied after the fire, warned that it may contain hazardous materials.
The sticker bears the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire Service logo. They said in a statement:
"St Mary’s firefighters were called shortly after 4am on Thursday morning following a van fire near Woodmill Lane.
"The crew requested the attendance of the Land Rover vehicle from Eastleigh in order to help access the fire.
"Wearing breathing apparatus, firefighters extinguished the fire using hose reel jets.
"Police were informed as it was believed the fire was set deliberately, causing significant damage.
"HIWFRS left the scene at around half five."
As reported, in February a burned out motorbike was abaondoned in the park near the practice cycle track.
The van has been reported to Southampton City Council. It's hoped Active Nation will remove the vehicle week beginning November 13.
Updated 11/11/23 with further photos and information about the sicker, and again on 13/11/23 with comment from HIWFRS and information about van removal