The grim discovery was made in the Silkstone Common area of Barnsley at around 5.40pm on Thursday evening (September 6).
Emergency services were informed a man's body had been found in a wooded areaÂ just behind Moorend Lane, close to the Trans Pennine Trail.
An investigation into the man's death is in its early stages and a cordon is in place while detectives carry out enquiries.Â
Detective Chief Inspector Steve Whittaker, the senior investigating officer, said: 'The man was found by a member of the public, with severe injuries, and we are working hard to ascertain the exact circumstances which led to his death.Â
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'Enquiries are ongoing and officers will remain in the area throughout the day and into the evening and weekend, speaking to people and examining the area for forensic opportunities.Â
'We are keen to speak to anyone who was in the area yesterday, and who may have seen or heard anything suspicious. It's extremely close to the Trans Pennine Trail, which we know is popular with dog walkers, runners, and cyclists. If you saw anything that you think could assist with enquiries, please get in touch with us.Â
'The man, thought to be in his 40s, has not yet been formally identified and this will take place over the coming days, along with a post-mortem examination.'
Anyone with information about the man's death is asked to call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 quoting incident 628 of 6 September 2018.