Fears are growing for the safety of a missing farmworker who vanished from his home in south Essex.

David Burgess, 53, has not been seen since he went for a walk in the countryside around his home near Linford, Tilbury, on Saturday (16 August).

Mr Burgess is known for his love of the outdoors and nature, but family members called police on Monday (18 August) when he failed to return in time to start work on a local farm.

Ch Insp Andy Fusher, of Essex Police, who is leading the search for Mr Burgess, described his disappearance as “out of character”.

He said: “Mr Burgess has always worked outdoors and has never missed a day’s work in his life. It is completely out of character for him to go missing in this way.

“We are now extremely concerned that he might have been taken ill or has had some sort of accident in a remote area of farmland or marshes.”

A widespread search is being carried out around the Linford area and numerous police units are involved, including sniffer dogs and the police helicopter.

Mr Burgess is 5ft 10in tall, and has cropped and thinning hair. He also has tattoos on the back of both his hands.

When last seen he was wearing a blue zip-up fleece, blue jeans, a blue baseball cap and green wellington boots.

Anyone who has seen Mr Burgess should call Essex Police on 101.