A PUB near Lymington is "under investigation" by a public health watchdog.

A report from environmental health chiefs, who inspected the Walhampton Arms, gave it a food hygiene rating of 1 out of 5.

It found that systems to ensure that food is safe to eat and staff know about food safety needed major improvements.

The cleanliness of the premises on Walhampton Hill needed major improvement with inspectors finding food past its use-by-dates.

However, the hygienic handling of food including preparation, cooking, re-heating, cooling and storage at the pub were generally satisfactory.

Inspectors from the environmental health partnership of New Forest District Council undertook the visit on November 15.

According to the district council, the pub will remain under investigation.

The watering hole is owned Heartstone Inns which is a group of individual free houses, which claim to offer a delicious and interesting choice of food and drink wrapped up in a relaxed pub atmosphere.

According to the Walhampton Arm website the pub dates back to the 1800’s.

It claims its menus capture the essence of what a pub should be about.

Hearty, freshly cooked pub classics.

Despite the damming inspection it holds a four out of five-star rating on review website TripAdvisor.

A New Forest District Council spokesperson said: "In November, NFDC’s food and safety team carried out a routine food hygiene inspection of the Walhampton Arms, Lymington, Hampshire.

"Issues relating to the poor cleanliness of the premises and a lack of effective stock control were found, including foods that had exceeded their use-by dates.

"The business was therefore required to take urgent action to deal with these issues and to secure compliance and was awarded a food hygiene rating of 1 at that time.

"Revisits to the business and further monitoring have been carried out to ensure that the necessary improvements have been carried out.

"The 1 rating will remain in place until the next food hygiene inspection is undertaken in late 2020, although upon payment of a fee the business may request a re-inspection sooner."

The Daily Echo has contacted Heartstone Inns which owns the Walhampton Arms, and is awaiting comment.