Forensics officers have begun probing an area of previously hidden ground during the search of scrubland close to where Madeleine McCann was last seen in Portugal seven years ago.

Two men in white overalls were yesterday seen entering a tent that has been erected on a spot of interest to police in Praia da Luz on the Algarve. The area has already been subject to fingertip searches by officers.

Two white tents were put up and connected together to hide the scene. Five officers in forensics suits and face masks were later seen going into the tent.

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A man in plain clothes and also wearing a mask then took a wheelbarrow inside and out again with a cover on top of it, disguising what was inside.

Banging noises and voices could be heard from inside.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, the senior officer investigating the case, approached at one stage and looked on from the slope above.