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Rat infestation in Broomfield Park forces Enfield Council to take action
An explosion in the rat population in an Enfield park has forced the council to take action.
The filthy rodents are taking over Broomfield Park, with the infestation blamed on people leaving bread for birds as well as the wet summer.
Enfield Council's exterminators were called in on Friday to put rat traps by the pond - which is the main trouble spot, and pin A4 posters to trees and notice boards, warning people to stop feeding birds.
Laki Marangos, secretary of Friends of Broomfield Park, has noticed a serious increase of rodents in the past two months.
He said the Friends of Broomfield Park have repeatedly reported the issue to Enfield Council for the past couple of months, but it is only now that action is being taken.
He said: "“It has been getting worse – it is noticeably worse now because more people are reporting it to the council and you actually see more of them.
"They are very confident rats; they come up to you and walk around."
Although Mr Marangos is pleased the council is being proactive in culling the rats, he believes more needs to be done.
He said education is important and leaflets should be posted to schools throughout Enfield to prevent children from leaving food in the park.
He suggested an officer could also be employed to prevent people from littering in the park.
He said: "It needs some clear thinking – we are not pointing fingers, it is a difficult problem but it needs some thinking outside the box.
"I am not saying that parents should not take their kids to feed the ducks but there has to be some indication as to what to do. The council needs to do a lot more.”
The council is paying for the rat extermination out of its annual parks budget.
The chair of Friends of Broomfield Park Nigel Thorogood is also deeply concerned about the issue, especially because he does not believe the council’s actions will put a stop to the fiasco.
He said: “It is a problem that is definitely getting worse and more serious.
“I am unclear what action anyone can take other than to put up signs and put down traps, I don’t know what the answer is.
“I don’t think it is going to get resolved, I don’t see what they can do.”
However, Tom Waugh, who is a co-director of pest controllers Complete Pest Management Limited, based in Old Park Road in Enfield, thinks the number of rats in the borough has remained constant over the past five years.
He pinpointed parks as a problem area, saying many have a “terrible” rat issue because people are less likely to take responsibility for their removal.
However, he said: “The long and the short of it is it has been like this for years. It has been growing and growing but more and more people are noticing it.
“With the very wet summer the rats have got to get out of the drains as they are drowning and people have noticed it, but I wouldn’t say now that there are more than there were five years ago.”
Enfield Council’s cabinet member for environment, Councillor Chris Bond, is urging people to stop feeding the birds.
He said: "We do not want rats scurrying round Broomfield Park scaring the life out of park users so we're urging visitors not to overfeed the birds that live there.
“The excess food is attracting vermin and we're seeing a big increase in the number of rodents in the area.
We hope that a combination of sensible behaviour by park visitors and the use of exterminators will eradicate this problem, but if that doesn't work we'll have to look at other methods of dealing with it.”