Rats prompt bread ban

A RAT infestation in an Ipswich park is today forcing rangers to ask visitors to stop feeding the ducks. The wilderness pond in Christchurch Park is home not only to ducks and moorhens but also a colony of rats, which have been spotted by a number of passers by.

A RAT infestation in an Ipswich park is today forcing rangers to ask visitors to stop feeding the ducks.

The wilderness pond in Christchurch Park is home not only to ducks and moorhens but also a colony of rats, which have been spotted by a number of passers by.

As many as four of the rodents have been seen at one time scurrying about on paths near the pond feeding among fallen leaves and undergrowth undeterred by the presence of humans.

Steve Hunt, park ranger for Ipswich Council, is today urging visitors not to feed ducks in the area.

He said: "We are aware of a rat problem, often people report seeing them close to the wilderness pond.

"Part of the reason is because rats find food left over from duck feeding and we do discourage people from feeding the ducks at that pond.

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"We would ask people to feed ducks at the upper round pond, preferably on the path and not in the water, but overall we are asking that people do not feed the ducks at all as it does attract rats."

Mr Hunt said the vermin live in banks near the water.

He said: "It is an ongoing problem but we are working closely with our animal welfare department. They regularly bait the area and we are looking at ways of reducing the amount of food available."

Mr Hunt said rat bating was done safely, with no danger to human health.

He said: "We are also looking at ways in Christchurch Park and our other parks to make our skip yards less attractive to rats."

Weather conditions and the availability of water are also factors that are helping the colonies survive.

Mr Hunt added: "We have a favourable situation for rats at the moment. They live near the water all over that area. It is something we know about."

Is it right to stop people feeding the ducks in Christchurch Park? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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