Concern over rat infestation in popular Sheffield Park

A rat problem in a popular Sheffield park has caused concern among local residents, who are calling on the city council to tackle the problem before it escalates.

By Rahmah Ghazali
Tuesday, 3rd August 2021, 2:17 pm

David Bently, who is a frequent visitor to Graves Park in Norton, said he was left in disbelief at rats “running around” under his feet when he visited the park two weeks ago.

He said he and his cousin spotted rodents while sitting and having coffee on the benches in the Rose Garden outside the park’s cafe. He also captured video footage of a rat running nearby.

“We sat literally on a bench table outside the door of the cafe and adjacent to that was a hedge and we noticed there was a movement,” he said.

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A sign was put up outside the cafe in Graves Park informing visitors of a rat problem in the park

“I stood up and looked, there were rats. Unbelievable, they were everywhere.”

The 74-year-old said although a sign outside the cafe was put up acknowledging the rat problem in the park and informing visitors not to leave litter, he feels more needs to be done.

He said: “I'm in the catering trade and I know full well the problems that rats can cause.

“Their urine can bring all sorts of diseases. There was a sign up that said they were aware of the rat problems and they were working to reduce their numbers.

“We are supposed to eradicate them, not to reduce their numbers.”

He complained to Sheffield City Council on July 19, but is yet to receive a response.

No rats were in sight when The Star visited the park on Tuesday, but visitors said more needs to be done by the council to combat the problem.

A resident, who did not want to be named, said: “We know there's always going to be rats when there's food around.

“At least the park is acknowledging there is a problem and they are addressing it. So we need to do whatever we can.

“But if I sit here and see the rats running, I wouldn't be happy either. I'd address the problem a bit more.”

Another visitor said she was also concerned at the rat problem.

“I just hope we don't see any,” she said.

Sheffield City Council and the cafe owner have both been contacted for a response.