North Norfolk council targets rats in baiting effort

14:41 October 6, 2022

Cromer’s rat population has become a “tourist attraction”, said one councillor.

Rodents have been widespread on the cliffs of the popular seaside resort throughout the year, despite a campaign to reduce their numbers through bait.

North Norfolk District Council leadership was questioned about the city’s rats at its October plenary meeting on Wednesday.

Greg Hayman, who represents the Trunch district on council, said: “I spoke to the responsible officer, who assured me that work is being done on the west side of Cromer, where the rat population is very apparent, and it has been a big deal. “. a tourist attraction in the summer, but not something we want to be known for.

Greg Hayman, who represents the Trunch district on the North Norfolk District Council.

Greg Hayman, who represents the Trunch district on the North Norfolk District Council.
– Credit: Supplied by Greg Hayman

“But there are also serious rat problems east of the pier, at all levels.

“You can see in broad daylight massive populations of rats frolicking on the boardwalk.”

Council leader Tim Adams said he had recognized the problem and an “extensive” program of burrowing and traditional baiting had been carried out this year on both sides of the pier.

He said: “We have to recognize that we are just managing this problem.

cromer from the pier

East Cliffs of Cromer, seen from the pier. Rats have been widespread in the area this year, in part due to the mild winter and hot summer.
– Credit: Lesley Buckley

“There are food sources in the cliff areas, present in Sheringham as well.

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“It’s not just food that people leave behind, it’s plant food sources like Alexanders.”

Adams said the council was also aware of rats on private land along the bluffs.

He said the rats were difficult to deal with because the cliff land they used was difficult to access, but Bagot goats introduced to graze the area during the summer successfully reduced the variety of food sources there.

Bagot's nanny goats and kids are released on Cromer's cliff.  Image: DENISE BRADLEY

Bagot goats have been grazing on the cliff at Cromer during the summers, partly to reduce food for rats.

Adams added: “I’m sure we would be open to any expert advice and do what we can.”

Adams said it was impossible to estimate how many rats had been killed by the bait, but it was probably “a few hundred” over the course of the year.

After it was reported in this newspaper last month, rat baiting has come under fire from some who fear it could also end up killing animals such as owls, hedgehogs and foxes.

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