A GROUP is determined to catch a mysterious man who they say has repeatedly exposed himself in a popular woodland.

Simon Harvey, a keen dog walker, has set up the group to specifically target the man who has been seen pulling his trousers down in Hockley Woods on several occasions.

The Friends of Hockley Woods, which attracted more than new 300 members in 24 hours after its launch, is now going after the man in the hope of improving woodland safety.

The incidents have occurred over several months.

Mr Harvey, from Rayleigh, told the Echo women no longer feel safe in the woods and there is a sense of “nervousness” on the woodland paths.

The 51-year-old said: “There’s been a lot of concern. It’s very alarming.

“It should be safe for everybody. It’s been a haven for me when I walk my dogs and it should be for everyone else.

“Women do feel nervous when they walk through there. It’s quite scary.

“He clearly gets off on the shock and the reaction he gets when people see him.

“There’s a lot of concern that he will get bored and an attack will happen.”

The man has been described as wearing all black, and has been frequently been seen wearing a balaclava.

Mr Harey added through the group’s members, they were able to let each other know of a similar incident in Thundersley Common, on Thursday.

Mr Harvey added: “If my daughter was to say I want to go for a run through the woods, I would ask her to go with someone else.

“I’m just glad I have my dog with me so I seem normal when I walk through.

“A lot of people have already said they are grateful for the group. It’s making people feel like they can report what’s happened.

“It’s really daunting if you don’t know you’re way around the woods. It’s easy to get lost if you’re unaware of the paths.

“There are a lot of places to hide and be secluded.”

Mr Harvey has urged the members not to start a witch-hunt against “all men” in the woods.

Visit the Friends of Hockley Woods on Facebook to find out more. Essex Police was contacted for a statement.