Shock as historic city kirkyard hit by plague of rats
Discarded takeaways blamed for hordes of hungry rodents
A CITY-CENTRE kirkyard and tourist spot is being overrun by rats.
Scores of the rodents have been spotted scurrying around the grounds of the Kirk of St Nicholas and nesting among the graves.
It is understand the council has previously laid poison to get rid of the vermin, but one source claimed it was a “big issue” again.
He said: “I know that other graveyards don’t have the same problem.
“They’ve got these nice new benches and it’s right in the centre of town. You want to keep this place maintained.”
During a visit to the graveyard, The P&J captured multiple images of the rats. An ominous screeching sound could be heard as they fought.
A council spokesman confirmed they were aware of the problem and said the area would be “treated”.
One member of the public said he saw “more than 20” running out from under a bin at the Union Street entrance to the kirk.
And community council chairman Dustin Macdonald said action was needed, adding: “When the public are starting to notice it, then something needs to be done to look into it.”
Hordes of rats are overrunning a graveyard in the centre of Aberdeen.
The creatures have been spotted scurrying across the ground and nesting among graves at Mither Kirk’s churchyard.
It is understood that the council has previously laid poison to get rid of the vermin, but they have now come back to the Kirk of St Nicholas Uniting in even greater numbers.
A spokesman for the local authority said the kirkyard was now being “treated” until a “satisfactory outcome” is achieved, but would not comment on the method of pest control being used.
One concerned man said he saw numerous rats rush out from under a bin at the gate on Union Street, and voiced concerns that the animals were being drawn to the spot due to the number of fast food outlets nearby.
He said: “I was shocked at the number of rats I saw, there must have been more than 20 of them.”
A Press and Journal photographer attended at the graveyard and captured images of several large rats at various points.
There was a multitude of them next to the bins at the Union Street entrance, and several were seen burrowing under headstones.
The animals could be seen crawling into tombs and heard scratching about inside.
One source said they had seen “heaps” of rats in the graveyard.
He said: “They have been poisoned before, and now they’re back – it’s a big issue. I know that other graveyards don’t have the same problem.”
He added: “They’ve got these nice new benches, and it’s right in the centre of town. You want to keep this place maintained.”
Dustin Macdonald, chairman of the City Centre Community Council, called for action to be taken.
He said: “Obviously measures need to be put in place. Animals like rats will always be all over the place, wherever you go.
“But when the public are starting to notice it, then something needs to be done to look into it.”
Pauline Gerrard runs the Guardians of Aberdeen’s Graveyards social media site, and helps to research and maintain the spots.
She said she was aware of rodent problems existing in the past, but said she was “confident” the council would take swift action to deal with the problem.
A council spokesman said: “Aberdeen City Council’s pest control team has carried out investigations and will continue to treat the area until a satisfactory outcome is achieved.”
Among those buried in the graveyard are Peterhead-born William Penny, one of the leading advocates for steam power, Lord Provost Sir Alexander Armstrong, and Sir George Skene of Fintray.
SNIFFED OUT: Rats seen scuttling between the headstones in the graveyard of St Nicholas Church in Aberdeen.