Rabbit sightings may not be so common at Frimley Park after action was taken yesterday to control a "bumper bunny season".

Hastings District Council hoped to reduce the number of rabbits who had made their home beneath a historic poplar tree in the busy park.

Staff had been keeping an eye on the growing issue over a two-week period and acted early yesterday morning to get rid of the unwanted visitors.

"While there are reports of excessive numbers in the park, we have also been advised that this warm summer has led to a bumper bunny season," Parks and Property Services Manager Colin Hosford said.

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"Our key concern at Frimley Park is that the bulk of the rabbit infestation appears to be centred in a tunnel network under the old and historic Frimley poplar tree."

A targeted eradication programme has been undertaken around the heritage tree, in an attempt to prevent any damage.

"This old tree's root structure must not be compromised in any way by the rabbit's tunnelling.."

While many would be happy to see the back of their tiny white tails, one resident was upset by the culling of, "innocent creatures".

"There's nothing the matter with the hydrangeas or roses, there are just a few little bunnies running around," Gaye Wilson said.

As someone who regularly walked in the park, she was concerned measures introduced to remove the wild population would be more detrimental than their presence - voicing her particular concern for schools in the area.

HDC wanted to assure park users that control measures did not involve the introduction of calicivirus, and would not harm their dogs or cats.

"The eradication agent is not toxic to pets or humans and was carried out by a registered pest control company," Mr Hosford added.

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