A nine-year-old girl fought off an attacker who grabbed her as she played hide and seek with friends, police said.
The girl was playing in the gardens of Dartington Hall in Totnes in Devon, when she was approached from behind by a young man.
He grabbed her by the arm but the youngster, from the Totnes area, managed to kick him to the ground and run away.
A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall Police said the matter was being treated as an assault.
Vaughan Lindsay, chief executive officer of Dartington Hall Trust, which runs the estate, urged people to be “vigilant”.
He said: “We have alerted our local schools and community and are working closely with Devon and Cornwall constabulary.
“Our security team will continue to monitor the situation and work with the local police force and we would urge everyone to be vigilant at this time.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Devon and Cornwall Police.