A newborn baby is being cared for in hospital after she was found in a shopping bag by a dog walker.

Police are trying to trace the little girl’s mother, who they say will need immediate medical attention.

The child, who police say is well and not injured, was discovered wrapped in a towel and inside the bag in Newham, east London, on Thursday evening, the Metropolitan Police said.

Chief Superintendent Simon Crick said: “Last night, we were called by a member of the public out walking their dog, who had discovered a newborn baby in a shopping bag at the junction of the Greenway and High Street South.

“Thinking fast, that person kept the baby girl warm until London Ambulance Service paramedics arrived and checked her over before taking her to hospital. I am delighted to report that she wasn’t injured in any way and is safe and well in the care of hospital staff.

“I am grateful to the members of the public who stayed at the scene to speak with officers and medics – your actions contributed to saving the baby’s life.

“Our thoughts now turn to the baby mother; we are extremely concerned for her welfare as she will have been through a traumatic ordeal and will need immediate medical attention following the birth.”

Temperatures dropped as low as -4C around London on Thursday night, the Met Office said.

Anyone who knows the mother is urged to contact police by calling 999 and using CAD 6876/18 Jan.