One of the great joys of the garden is that it is a haven for wildlife… and many residents like to encourage the wildlife with food. The only difficulty is that by feeding the birds and squirrels and perhaps the foxes, they are also feeding less welcome visitors, notably…rats.
There are large colonies of rats thriving in the slopes in front of the Reading Room – walking through the
area it is impossible to miss them – and they have easy access to the south garden through the tunnel.
Jeremy is very concerned about
the proliferation rats in the gardens and would much prefer residents not to feed the wildlife and thus discourage rats from coming in for a
free meal. He recently dissuaded a lady resident from making a daily visit with a bag of seeds which she
deposited in the woodland for the squirrels – right in front of a tree in which there was a rats’ nest, inhabited by very plump and happy rats.
Dog owners, too, worry about their mutts scoffing unidentified food left around the gardens. A surprising amount of foodstuff is poisonous for our doggy
friends – chocolate, for example – but they’re usually too stupid or greedy to know
Of course every dog walked in the garden must be registered with Jonathan Rolls – the £30 charge covers the cost of the dog waste bins. Sadly not all dog owners seem willing to pay their fair share and there are many reports of unregistered dogs being seen in the gardens.