A MAN is 'fighting for his life' after an apparent hit and run on a rural track in Christchurch.

Police don't yet know how the man came to be lying in Dudmoor Farm Road, near the junction with Fairmile Road, but suspect a fail to stop collision.

Officers were called by the ambulance service to a the isolated stretch just after midday on Monday.

They have not yet been able to identify the victim, who wasn't carrying identification at the time he was struck.

He was taken to Southampton General Hospital suffering with serious head injuries.

Sergeant Nikki Burt of Dorset Police said: "We were alerted to the scene by the ambulance service just after midday.

"A male has been admitted to the neurological department at Southampton Hospital with serious head injuries. CSI and collision investigation are on the scene.

"We really don't know what has happened and are appealing for any witnesses in the area at around noon to contact us.

"Marsh Lane remains closed but there is an alternative route for those needing access. We will re-open the road as soon as we can. "

A spokesperson for the South Western Ambulance Service said: “Crews were called to Dudmoor Farm Road at approximately 11.50am.

“One casualty, suffering with a head injury, was conveyed to hospital.”

He added that the man had been suffering with a “cut to the head”.

Councillor Susan Spittle, of St Catherine's and Hurn ward, said: “I'm absolutely shocked to hear this awful news.

“I'm very puzzled too. It's a very rutted, potholed road, and so it's hard to get up to any real speed. It's very sad to hear that somebody has been badly hurt.”

Inspector Matt Butler of Dorset Police's traffic unit was at the scene for much of the day, along with a number of detectives wearing plain clothes.

A pair of blue high-top trainers left at the scene were recovered by officers.

John Williams, who lives nearby, said: “It's become a really dodgy area in recent years and it doesn't surprise me that something has happened and so many police are involved.”

Margaret Thompson, whose house backs on to Marsh Lane, said more than two hours after the incident that she was unable to move her car because of the police cordons.

Another neighbour, who did not want to be named, said: “I think the paramedics must have been working on the injured man for a while because the ambulance seemed to be there for a very long time.”

A spokesperson from Dorset Police said anyone with information on the incident is asked to call 101, quoting reference number 145 of 31/3.