A pile of clothes, believed to have belonged to the dead woman, was found near her decomposed body. Detectives believe the woman was in her 20s and from the London area. They are treating the death as suspicious and say it is "highly likely" that a murder hunt will be started after a post-mortem examination.
Detective Superintendent Dave Cook, leading the investigation, said the body had been found near the entrance to the Royal Horticultural Society gardens. "The body is badly decomposed. It has been there for at least a week or more."
The body was discovered at 2pm yesterday by a member of staff at Wisley who had responded to complaints from the public about a pungent smell from woodland. The Grade II-listed garden, near Guildford, Surrey, which attracts more than 600,000 visitors each year, was shut immediately. It will remain shut today.
Police are appealing for witnesses who may have seen anything suspicious in the area in the past two to three weeks.