'Widespread' rat infestation at Sidford parkland
A "widespread infestation" of rats is being tackled in an area of popular parkland in an east Devon village.
The work, in The Byes in Sidford, near Sidmouth, is being carried out after reports of large numbers of rodents near the rugby and football pitches, East Devon District Council said.
Some reports mentioned rats being spotted going to ponds to drink.
The council said it was using special bait to deal with the rodents and that this should not be interfered with.
Dogs should be kept on leads and under control in the area, which was signposted, the council added.
Reports from the public also mentioned people being seen spreading food in public spaces, including porridge oats, rice and bread in undergrowth.
The council said that the area was rich in bird life, with plenty of shelter and food, and that the birds' diet did not need to be supplemented.
The council has also written to nearby residents, asking them to stop feeding birds in their gardens, and to contain any food waste or other rubbish which could distract the rats from the bait.