'It's disgusting' - complaints of huge rats taking over Cheltenham park

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People who use Pittville Park in Cheltenham are complaining about the number of rats there.

Members of the public describe seeing "dozens" of the rodents in various locations around the edges of the lake.

"They are all round the lake, there are just too many, and there are children playing around," said Veronica Hext from Pittville Swan Watch.

It seems the rats are attracted to the waterside by people feeding the ducks and swans.

One passerby even captured video of the rodents and a swan battling it out over some bread crumbs.

One passer by said: "I think it's disgusting that there are so many of them, you don't know whether you are going to get bitten, or catch something."

Cheltenham Borough Council, which manages the park, is looking into the increase in rat numbers.

A rat tried to battle a swan for crumbs in the park. Credit: ITV

The council's green space development manager Adam Reynolds said: ‘’We are aware of rats in the area and it’s natural for rats to reside around the lake as they are part of our aquatic ecosystem.

‘’Pest Control have designated baiting points, which they monitor and replenish from time to time.

"Occasionally numbers increase and they become more visible, at which point the council will instigate pest control measures.

"We would ask people to assist us, and urge park users not to leave discarded food matter around the lake or in the park. We’ve asked the pest control team to review and monitor the situation.’’