A popular Merseyside park has been “taken over” by rats, according to visitors.
Hesketh Park is one of Southport’s largest green spaces.
The park, near the north end of Lord Street, has reportedly been “overrun” by vermin in recent weeks.
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A number of people have reported the problem to ECHO.
One man said: “I often take my little boy to feed the ducks, but there are more rats than ducks now.
Dozens of people have also expressed their concerns on social media.
Posting on Facebook, a woman said she was “afraid” of the creatures and would “avoid” the park.
However, another said she loved the park “more than she hates rats”.
One man posted: “One or two rats are normal, but an unusually high amount is probably from people throwing bread in them.
“Bread brings more rats – and it’s bad for the birds.”
Sefton’s Council says he takes the issue of pest control very seriously.
A council spokesperson told ECHO: “Our pest control team has a regular bait program in place and the council has installed seven new bins that have rat bait compartments built into their design. .
“Officers saw four rats in the margins of Hesketh Park Lake over the past week and upon closer inspection they found bread and seeds scattered throughout the area.
“Food sources like this will attract rodents and we strongly encourage the public not to feed wildlife in the park.
“We also want to stress the importance for the public of throwing any trash in the bins provided or taking the trash home, as littering, especially food waste, will also encourage vermin.”
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