A playground in Ripon has closed due to the amount of rats eating leftover food.
Ripon City Council officials shut Quarry Moor playground today over public health concerns caused by the rodents.
In a statement, the authority said the volume of waste at the park was “huge” and urged people to take their rubbish home.
It added that it collected a minimum of eight rubbish bags a day, which was “a constant food supply” to the rats.
A Ripon City Council statement said:
“We have today closed the playground at Quarry Moor due to the problem with rats on site.
“The rat problem is worse than ever this year and we have unfortunately had to take the decision to close the playground on the grounds of public health.
“We will work with our partners at Harrogate Borough Council to address the pest problem and will explore all options available, including the use of poison, with both HBC and Natural England.
“We will make changes to the way rubbish is death with on site, all bins will be removed and we encourage all visitors to take their waste home with them.
“The volume of waste collected on site is huge. We usually collect a minimum of eight bags of rubbish per day, which is a constant food supply for the ever growing rat population.
“We will trial a metal trade waste bin in the car park in the short term but ask everyone to take their rubbish home.”
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The city council announced a refurbishment of the park this year as part of its parish precept.
The park, just off the A61 on the southern approach to Ripon, was donated to the city in 1945 by Alderman Thomas Fowler Spence.
It has an activities centre for children as well as outdoor play equipment.