Councillors have been forced to call in pest control experts to combat a growing problem with rats in a public open space.
Stamford Town Council agreed on Tuesday to bring in Stamford firm Lincs Pest Control to get rid of vermin on the Meadows.
Several members of the public had complained to the council and members agreed the problem had to be resolved.
Town clerk Patricia Stuart-Mogg said: “Because of the number of visitors we get, which is fantastic, we get a lot of people feeding the wildfowl. Like in many other towns, they feed the ducks, geese and pigeons with bread.
“This is attracting rodents which is causing a huge problem on the Meadows. We are going to have to take action to get that resolved.”
Councillors agreed to spend an initial £1,252 installing three special bins which would be concreted into the ground and would include compartments where rat poison could be placed.
The money would also pay for metal signs warning visitors about the dangers rats can pose and asking them not to feed the birds on the Meadows.
Councillors also agreed to pay an annual service fee of £650 for future maintenance and pest control.
The Meadows is owned by the town council and activities there are controlled by the authority’s amenities committee.
Speaking after the meeting, committee chairman Coun Mike Exton (Con) said: “Last Friday myself and the town clerk met the pest control people down on the Meadows.
“There were rats coming out of the grass and running along the walkway.
“There are children playing down on the floor there. Rats can cause diseases.”
The council hopes to install one bin by Lammas Bridge, another about 30ft from the bridge and a third by the weir in the Mill Stream.
Several signs will be put up around the Meadows encouraging people not to feed the wildfowl.
Coun Exton added: “The dangers of feeding the ducks is that it encourages rats to multiply a lot quicker. One rat can turn into 40 rats in a couple of months.
“It’s very difficult to ask people not to feed the birds because children get such a lot of enjoyment out of it. It’s a catch 22 situation.
“We are not the only town that suffers this problem but we would like to do our best to restrict it as much as we can.”