Council wardens more used to dealing with a dumped sofa or a submerged shopping trolley were surprised to find an abandoned barge blocking a footpath.

The narrowboat was discovered on an industrial estate pavement in Smethwick in the West Midlands on Thursday – not far from the Birmingham canal.

Sandwell council’s highways team sprang into action, tweeting: "Is anyone missing a barge?

"This one has been left in #Smethwick, our wardens are working to find the owner as we need to get this moved."

The social media appeal and other investigations managed to track down the owner who has been ordered to get it shifted.

David Hosell, the council’s highways and environment cabinet chief, said: "Our wardens have investigated this and have found the person responsible for the boat.

"We are asking them to get it moved as quickly as is possible."

(c) Sky News 2017: ‘Anyone missing a barge?’ Boat appears on West Midlands footpath