Rats infesting rocks near prom

Angler Ian Macluskie saw numerous rats between the rocks scavenging for food.
Angler Ian Macluskie saw numerous rats between the rocks scavenging for food.

Rats are infesting the rock armour off Morecambe promenade and living off discarded food.

One angler, who has lived in the area all his life, wants to raise awareness of the infestation which he says is increasing.

Ian Macluskie, of Overton, said: “Recently I have become more aware of the scale of one problem affecting the area - rats.

“During the Easter holidays I took my children fishing on three occasions, twice to the Stone Jetty at Morecambe and once in front of Morecambe Golf Club.

“On each occasion we saw numerous adult rats wandering on and amongst the rocks that make up the sea defence armour.

“The rats were not particularly bothered by our presence and were in many cases within three feet of us in the rock armour at our feet.

“What was particularly worrying was that in those few sunny days there were numerous parents playing with young children among the rocks at the beach edge, the youngsters crawling among the rocks making ‘dens’.

“We spoke to one parent who was dubious about the rats. We told him to stay with us for five minutes and watch the rocks.

“Within 20 seconds a large brown rat wandered out, collected a McDonalds wrapper and disappeared back beneath the rocks.

“The father was mortified but this isn’t an uncommon sight.

“We were easily able to photograph rats coming and going in the upper rock armour as the tide came in - a time when many people tend to walk along the Jetty out to sea.

“There doesn’t seem to be any plan in place to control this population, no visible poison bait stations and we have never seen any pest control officers despite being out day and night in the locality.

“The rock armour provides a perfect hideout for rats and serves to trap them a constant supply of food, washed up or dropped by visitors to the area and makes for a very unpleasant sight, not I imagine ideal for a tourist orientated area.”

Sue Clowes, Public Health Team Leader, said: “We are aware of Mr. Macluskie’s report of his siting of rats in rock groynes whilst fishing with his family on Morecambe Promenade at the Stone Jetty and opposite Morecambe Golf Club.

“The council does have a system in place for dealing with rats on the sea front and monitors the situation and test baits a number of areas on a very regular basis both inside and outside normal working hours.

“Reports of any new issues are dealt with promptly and effectively treated.

“On this occasion and without having received further information on the exact locations, further test baits were placed at a number areas from the Stone Jetty to Morecambe Golf Club and we are confident any further infestations will soon be under control.

“In the meantime, we would urge residents to help us irradicate problems with rats being attracted to Morecambe Promenade by disposing of their litter responsibly.”