A FIRE which destroyed more than 200 tonnes of hay just outside Stow is being treated as suspected arson, police have confirmed.

The busy main A436 road through the Cotswolds was closed during the morning rush hour after the blaze took hold at Mount Pleasant Farm at about 1am on Monday, July 21.

Two crews from Stow fire station attended the blaze, which destroyed about 450 hay bales and set alight nearby hedgerows.

Firefighters left the scene more than eight hours later once a crew from Moreton had finished damping down.

A Gloucestershire Police spokesman confirmed the fire is being treated as suspicious.

"We suspect that unknown person(s) have by unknown means set light to the hay stack," he said.

" Anyone who was travelling on the A436 between 00.01am and 1am on 21/07/14 who may have seen any suspicious vehicles parked in the layby opposite the Kingham/Bledington turning or persons walking along the A436 should call police on 101".