CONCERNS have been raised after rats and mice have been sighted in an area that is part of significant development plans.
The Ferry Gardens, on Gosport waterfront, is part of the borough council’s plans for a multimillion-pound scheme that would bring new businesses into the area.
‘People go to the place to sit and relax, not to see rats running around.’Jeanette Perry
The gardens, which were opened in 1924, were renamed to pay tribute to those who died in the Falklands War.
Many people enjoy the area to sit down as a quiet place to enjoy the view and pay their respects.
However, there has been a number of rats and mice spotted in the area of late.
Jeanette Perry, who runs the Facebook page ‘A Voice For Gosport’ said: ‘There has been concern about rats and mice around the Ferry Gardens and we’ve had a number of people get in touch with us. I have spoken to environmental health whose job this is to keep the rats away from communal areas. They have been contacted by numerous residents concerned for everyone’s welfare.
‘We’re doing a clean-up on Sunday, getting in the areas of the bushes that council don’t usually and all are welcome.
‘People go to the place to sit and relax, not to see rats running around.’
Mark Homeyard, the council’s environmental health officer, said: ‘We are aware that there have been reported sightings of rats in this location and the council has engaged a private pest control contractor to try and seek a long-term resolution to this issue.
‘This is unfortunately not a straightforward location to address due to a number of issues including public activity in the area.
‘Environmental factors include the harbour itself, non-target animals, access to possible nesting locations amongst the rocks and vandalism of baiting programmes initiated.
‘However we remain committed to improving this current situation.’
Council leader Mark Hook said: ‘We have had this problem before.
‘It is because people eat food and drop litter in the area.
‘Last time, nature took its cause and the foxes came and cleared up.’
Councillor Graham Burgess, added: ‘The problem isn’t of any concern to the development of the bus station.’