South Yorkshire times, July 25, 1960
100 Cabbage Plants a Night are Just “Salad Days” for the Rabbits
But Retribution is at Hand.
Allotment holders at Denaby and Conisbrough Urban Council, had declared war on rabbits which are plundering plots on the Northcliffe allotments, causing damage and clearing hundreds of plants overnight.
Mr E.T.Swift, Conisbrough Councils Senior Public Health Inspector, told the “South Yorkshire times” that it was their intention to net off the allotment and use ferrets and dogs to exterminate the rabbits
Already the councils rodent operative has taken steps to stop the damage and allotment holders themselves have been busy in a bid to get rid of the nuisance.
Mr Swift said it was the first time damage caused by the rabbits had reached large proportions. The netting of the allotments, he said, would involve the purchase of a net 100 yards long.
Another measure to combat ravages by the rabbits is a controlled burning of weeds on the adjoining Northcliffe Crags.
Mr Fred Sanderson of 20 Braithwell Street, Denaby, secretary of Denaby Allotments Society, said, “There is a lot of cover for rabbits at the moment and if it is burnt off it might force the rabbits to go further afield.”
Although the Rabbits firm favourites are cabbage plants they have even tackled the tops of onion plants.
At present, 66 allotments on the Northcliffe site are cultivated, Mr Joseph Salt, one of the plot holders and a co-opted member of Conisbrough Council’s Allotments Committee, told the “South Yorkshire Times”, “I have put in over 1000 cabbage plants and the rabbits have eaten them.”
He said they had reduced the damage by putting wire netting round the plots, but the young rabbits were unable to get through the wire and eat the cabbages just the same.
“They have done pounds worth of damage. You could put in over 100 cabbage plants in one night and they would all be gone the following morning. Some of us have been paying two shillings a score for cabbages and they have disappeared in one night,” said Mr Salt
He said the damage had started last year and had gradually got worse. Some of the allotment holders had shot rabbits, but there were still plenty of rabbits knocking about.
“When the council net the allotments all of us will be up there to give an hand,” he said.