'HEALTHY' trees could be cut down to address a 'serious' rodent infestation hitting homes in Oxford.  

Householders in Marlborough Road, South Oxford, have reported an 'increasingly serious' problem with rodents.
People living in the street, which backs onto Dean's Ham Meadow, have complained to

Oxford City Council, saying the problem is particularly affecting homes bordering the council-owned meadow – accessible by a lane near Grandpont Nursery.
However, residents are now concerned that the council has decided 'cut down perfectly healthy trees' to fix the issue.

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In a letter addressed to householders, the authority said: "As part of the work to tackle the infestation, we need to undertake clearance of all vegetation and items along the boundary of the meadow at the rear gardens, which is the main nesting area for rodents."

It blamed residents for "regularly proving food for birds and other animals" as well as "fly-tipping, storage of items and unauthorised planting".

The council will begin clearing greenery tomorrow Wednesday (October 12), with residents asked to remove any items belonging to them.

However, people living in the area have criticised the council's decision to remove trees and bushes.

One householder, who asked to remain anonymous, said: "It is crazy rubbish – and residents are up in arms.

"The council is always cutting down trees. It has got to stop."

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In its letter, the authority said that due to the "serious impact" of rodents, it hoped people would understand the need for action to be taken.

It said: "Given the potentially serious impacts on residents themselves created by the on-going rodent infestation, we trust you will understand the need for this action and would be grateful for your cooperation.

"However, should it be necessary, we do have common law powers and the city council's park bylaws available to take enforcement action, including removal of items by ourselves that are not removed by residents by the date stipulated above.

"Once this boundary is cleared, and the infestation under control, residents will also be required to desist from any future infringement on the meadow, including the placing of bird feeders, leaving of food on the ground, or any planting or storage of items.

"In order to ensure this rodent problem does not reoccur this boundary will be maintained as short vegetation.

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“On-going infringement by any resident obstructing this arrangement is likely to result in them being issued with a Community Protection Notice.”


Read more from this author

This story was written by Gee Harland. She joined the team in 2022 as a senior multimedia reporter.

Gee covers Wallingford, Wantage and Didcot.

Get in touch with her by emailing: Gee.harland@newsquest.co.uk

Follow her on Twitter @Geeharland

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