Sunderland city council responds to concerns that Roker Park is 'overrun' with rats
Visitors to Roker Park have been asked to help tackle its rat infestation by reporting ever sighting so that the pest control team can move in
Sunderland City Council says it has ramped up efforts to tackle the problems in the popular park, but has urged families to help it target its rat-catching after it became overrun with rodents.
People have also been warned to not drop or leave food so that more are not attracted into the area.
It comes after ward councillors said they had been contacted by families and residents living nearby saying the problem has got worse in recent months, with the vermin becoming more brazen, running out in front of children during the middle of the day, leaving then frightened to return to the play area.
The fairy dell is said to be one of the worst affected areas, while streets in the marina area, including Barbary Drive and Pier View, and St George’s Terrace close to the park also highlighted as areas of concern.
A spokesperson for the council said: “We encourage residents to report all significant rodent sightings so they can be appropriately dealt with.
“We have a routine baiting programme in Roker Park and this has been stepped up recently over the summer.
“Rats are attracted to the park because it offers a natural environment with harbourage, water and a food supply.
“We would encourage all residents, businesses and visitors to dispose of their litter appropriately and not to leave food waste as it can attract rodents.”
St Peter’s Councillor Joshua McKeith and fellow ward member Councillor Shirley Leadbitter, along with future election candidate Sam Johnston, raised the issue with the council after they received complaints.
It came after residents in Donnison Gardens in the East End spoke out after growing angry about the same problem, with rats there chewing through wheelie bins and up to 30 seen at a time in the street.
A damaged sewer is suspected to be the cause of the infestation there.