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Sunday, May 29, 2022

The problem with Bradford parks ‘isn’t with the rats, it is with people leaving the food behind’.

According to the Bradford Council website, Bradford has 36 public parks, ten of which are on the English Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England. The council website further describes how Bradford residents can walk through multiple beautiful scenic views, where families can enjoy a picnic under the shade of a tress, while children can use up their energy, running in the playground.

However, according to Bradford residents, the reality of Bradford’s parks isn’t as rosy as it seems.

Park users have been taking to social media and WhatsApp groups to share their concerns about vermin and fly-tipping problems, with some even saying this is putting them off from going to their local park.

Kashif Ahmed, a member of Friends of Lister Park, told Asian Standard, “I love going to the park, I take my kids regularly. However, kids don’t like vermin of any sort and it has made us go to the park less”.

The father of two, however, wants to change this because he believes people should still go to the park to raise these issues.

Kashif has called out people for feeding the birds and leaving rubbish around. He comments, “adults don’t listen, and they just carry on. When I told a child, who looked 12 or 13, you shouldn’t do that. He just understood and walked back home”.

Rubbish gathered at the side of Bradford Moor Park lake
Image: Friends of Bradford Moor Park Facebook group

Janet Attwood, a local resident of Peel Park, agrees, “the problem isn’t with the rats, it is with people leaving the food behind”.

She does not believe there has been an increase of rats at local parks but says it is the result of people using the park and leaving food around.

“The bins provided at parks are not for food waste. They are provided for an empty can, an empty crisp packet, not a leftover pizza box. If people don’t dispose of their food correctly; taking it home and putting it in proper bins, it will result in other animals scavenging the food that is in there”.

It’s not just visitors to Peel Park and Lister Park, who feel this way but also users of Bradford Moor Park. On the Facebook group page Friends of Bradford Moor Park, members have been leaving their comments about rubbish and other issues for some time. Facebook member Jackie Gill posted: “I saw this how disgusting. All the people put in the effort to clean the park and make it look nice for our younger generation to enjoy the park to walk and play. disgusted this morning”.

Mohammad Zahid, added to Jackie’s post, saying: “I remember the time when this park used to be spotless, sit on the grass, enjoy life, how times have changed, now bring your rubbish to burn here, where’s the council in all this?”

Another member of the Facebook group, Rehana Shaikh, was also disgusted by the public leaving rubbish and fly-tipping in Bradford Moor Park. She posted: “so I went for a walk around the park today… can’t explain how disgusted I am by what I saw!”

Naz Kosar, the admin of the Friends of Bradford Moor Facebook group, is determined to make Bradford Moor Park clean and safe for the public.

She shared a post at the beginning of April stating “feeding birds and rotting leftover food will attract other unwelcome pests such as rats, mice and insects. These pests can also harbour additional diseases that can be dangerous to humans and threatening to other wildlife”.

Bradford council’s penalty notice sign at Bradford Moor Park Image: friends of Bradford Moor Park Facebook group

The post included an image of a Bradford Council signage saying there is a fixed penalty of £100.00.

Kashif believes that the council need to increase the amount and size of signages around the park.

“There also needs to be some consequence for not following these guidelines. They need to make example of people, so others think twice about it. There should be more wardens around when it’s busy”.

However, Janet commented, “I don’t think the council can do anything; it is down to the individual. The council can’t be proactive; they have put the signs”.

A Bradford Council spokesperson said: “Dropping litter and bird feeding can lead to a rise in vermin in parks and residential areas.

“Putting litter in rubbish bins or taking it away and disposing of it properly helps to reduce the problem.

“The best way to support birdlife is to use bird feed and bird tables and clean around them regularly to avoid attracting pests.

“Leftover bread can be made into various dishes or disposed of responsibly in household waste bins.

“We regularly empty litter bins, litter pick our parks and sweep up food waste to combat the problem.

“Our wardens also patrol the park to educate people and where necessary, issue littering fixed penalty notices.

“We have some beautiful public spaces and ask everyone to please keep it clean and free of food waste.”

Concerns about your local park can be reported to Bradford Council by either calling 01274 43100 or emailing parks@bradford.gov.uk.


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