'Call in the Pied Piper' - bread, rubbish and lack of pride blamed for rat problem in Sunderland park
Calls to deal with rubbish, clean up our act - and even call in the Pied Piper - have been made over the plight of a popular Sunderland park.
Now Echo readers have been having their say on the issue - and suggesting ways to tackle the problem - on our Facebook page.
Lisa Coates said: "People need to stop feeding bread and seed to the ducks! Not only is bread bad for the ducks but its easy food pickings for the rats , it floats on the water and helps to clog the pond filters.
"How would the council get rid of the rats .... poison? Would that not kill squirrels and the rabbits too ?
"I also agree that people need to pick up their rubbish and bins need to be emptied more often especially during the Summer when the park is used more."
Granda Keith Wilko said: "Gone to rack and ruin, Barnes park - as well as other places. Bring in the pied piper, Sunderland council."
Kristofer Marc Sheridan said: "It’s the people of Sunderland who are to blame....rubbish thrown everywhere, no one cares and council expected to foot the bill.
"The revamp was amazing but the public can’t be trusted to look after it Join ‘Friends of Barnes park’ if yous are really concerned."
Margaret Dent said: "Of course this will happen when you have people dropping food and litter without a thought of trying to keep the streets where they leave clean.
"They have no pride in the place where they live, but would be the first to complain if disease came to the town. We all must take responsibility."
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Natalie Bell said: "It's been like the for atleast a year. We saw about eight at one time running about then the just not bothered and try come up to yout looking for food, it's awful."
Deb Chaytor said: "People need to take some accountability and stop leaving food and litter all over the place I do agree bins need emptying more often especially in summer but we also hold some responsibility."
Carole Barker said: "I go to the park most weeks.... There's a massive rat problem during daylight hours so wouldn't like to be there in darkness.. After spending all that money on the revamp it's so sad it hasn't been maintained."
Paul Green said: "The park is a shadow of bygone days. Overgrown, with minimal planting. Could and should be so much better. Visitors need to help by removing their litter and hope that the bins get emptied more regularly."
Donna Watson said: "I went to the ships ahoy event and was shocked at the amount of people leaving rubbish.
"I had to bin other people’s coffee cups even though their where plenty of bins. It’s lazy people but also the people selling at the events should leave the park clean."
Some readers, however, blamed the council for reducing bin collections - and said this also caused problems with gulls.
Nick Kerry said: "Seagulls are just as bad. We always have two or three bags of rubbish that wont fit in out bin so we leave them at the side and they get taken.. you literally have to wait there supervising the rubbish till it's collected."
Ellen Blakelock Miller said: "It would make a big difference if the council emptied the bins more often as when they are full you see them pulling everything out!
"It's not just in the city centre, l live near Pallion shops and the council even had the nerve to put stickers on the bins saying 'if this bin is full please take your litter home with you'. Sorry but isn't that what l pay you over £1,000 a year to do?"