FIRE crews rescued a man who was stuck for four hours in a ditch near Hockley this afternoon.

The man, thought to be in his late sixties, became trapped in mud under bushes after slipping into a ditch while out walking along Hockley Park, near the Dome Village off Lower Road.

Two fire crews attended, one from Rayleigh Weir and the other from Hockley, and took an hour to free the man from the mud.

Rayleigh Weir station officer Phil Owens said: “We worked tirelessly for an hour to free him from the mud.

“He was lucky he had his mobile phone with him to call for help.

“He had slipped down the bank and got stuck at the bottom in the mud.”

“He seemed OK when we pulled him out. He was in good health, just tired, wet and cold.”

The man called the fire service at 3.39pm, and said he was stuck for a period of four hours in total.