‘Displaced’ rabbits are damaging cemetery

Rabbits are causing problems in Longhoughton. Picture by Mark Bolton
Rabbits are causing problems in Longhoughton. Picture by Mark Bolton

A cemetery is being damaged by rabbits which have been displaced by an ongoing housing development, it has been claimed.

The accusation was made at Monday night’s Longhoughton Parish Council meeting, with complainants saying that bunnies are chewing flowers which have been left on graves at the village churchyard.

The finger of blame was pointed towards Story Homes’ Chancel Place scheme on the outskirts of Longhoughton, with people claiming that the building work has prompted the rabbits to relocate.

The area’s county councillor Wendy Pattison said: “The rabbits have moved to the cemetery. They are chewing up flowers and grass. It is unfortunate and I have reported it.”

A member of the public added: “The cemetery is full of holes. It is not right. I put a rose – which cost £30 – up there and it was gone within a week. I have mentioned it to the Parochial Church Council and they said to speak to the contractor. Something needs to be done – maybe rabbit-proof netting.”

But Coun Eleanor Phillips said that this strategy has not been successful at the village’s Westfield Park. She said: “They got through it and they are chewing up the football field.”

Another resident said that the workers were parking vehicles in the pond field, next to the development site. The parish council will make sure it is restored to its original condition after work has finished.