Rat patrol called in to park

Victoria Park. Haywards Heath. Pic Steve Robards SUS-140508-161817001
Victoria Park. Haywards Heath. Pic Steve Robards SUS-140508-161817001

Pest control officers are monitoring a Haywards Heath park after several rats were spotted.

Mid Sussex District Council has increased the number of times bins are emptied and increased pest control patrols at Victoria Park since residents spoke about their rat encounters on a social networking site last Thursday.

The council investigated the reports last week but found no trace of rats. However after further investigation the council has found signs of rats and has taken action.

Councillor Pru Moore, Cabinet Member for Leisure and Sustainability, said: “Following information on social media last Thursday, the council investigated reports of rat sightings in Victoria Park but could not find any rats nesting there at that time.

“However, I visited the park on Monday morning and discovered some evidence of rats nesting. Action has been taken to address this and the situation will be monitored by our pest control officer twice a day.

“We have increased the number of times we empty the bins and pick up litter in the park to three times per day, ensuring as little food as possible is left lying around. Everyone who uses the park can help us by putting their waste in the bins provided before they leave.”

A council spokesman also said the park is safe to use and the splash pad is open as usual.

People have taken to Facebook to discuss the unwanted intruders.

Penny Curzon told the Middy: “I’m warning people who visit Victoria Park of the rat problem, I saw at least four on Saturday , very near to where I was sitting, my grandson saw the rat first then three more appeared, I did manage to get some pictures not brilliant but you can see they are rats.

“It’s a great shame that we have this lovely park where families can spend time relaxing with there children.”

Joanne Benson said: “Having just walked in to the park with my son the largest rat I have ever seen ran out in front of me and just sat there about a metre from the swings !”

Tony Dawson said he thought the litter was attracting the pests. He said: “Apart from regular rubbish collections, I’m not sure what would ever stop this happening.”