The search site was taped off early this morning – it is located about 400 metres west of the Ocean Club resort where the McCann family was vacationing on the night Madeleine went missing in May 2007.

Police will be using penetrating radar to detect anomalies and disturbances in the land beneath the surface while diggers will conduct excavations.

Trained victim recovery dogs will also be introduced to the site to locate any human remains.

Former Metropolitan Police search adviser Keith Farquharson told Sky News that the police have “obviously got hard information and the evidence trail is leading to that particular area”.

There will be similar investigations of two other ‘significant’ sites near the resort.

Image credit: Getty