A family of rabbits that were a popular sight in a Holbeach park have been “slaughtered”.
Early on Friday morning, a member of staff at Carters Park reported a man holding up a bag and boasting it contained rabbits and he was going to eat them for his dinner.
Tony Walker, park manager, and his wife, Loraine, say they are horrified and claim the rabbits were killed without the knowledge of Holbeach Parish Council.
The rabbits lived under the boundary hedge surrounding the bowling green. A statement issued by the couple said: “On Friday morning at 7.30 am the rabbit family living in Carters Park were slaughtered.
“The person who killed the rabbits very unkindly told a staff member what he had done and that he was taking them home and eating them for his dinner. He said he had acted on behalf of the bowls club.
“We have seen the rabbits grow up this summer and there were about eight of them. On Saturday, there were none left.”
Mr and Mrs Walker claim members of the Carters Park bowling club were unhappy about rabbits feeding on the green.
The statement said: “The bowling green area was always open to the public and many used to sit on the seats in the sun and enjoy this quiet area.
“The bowls club then decided they didn’t want the public to have access and it was locked off.
“Now it seems the bowls club has decided they don’t want the wildlife there either.
“There are certain bylaws preventing the worrying or harming of animals or wildfowl in the park. We have squirrels here, many birds, a sparrow hawk and once saw a green woodpecker.
“Some little children were last week amused by a squirrel drinking from a discarded milkshake bottle. The muntjac deer who live in the cemetery are often in the park early morning and late evening times.
“It is educational for the little ones to see wildlife in a natural setting.
“The population of Holbeach has increased rapidly and the park is now full to capacity in the summer months and the public need as much green space as possible.
“If the bowls club can’t accept that the park is a public place with wildlife, maybe they should question whether it is the right setting for them.”
Mr and Mrs Walker said the park was given to the public of Holbeach in 1929 by Herbert Carter and every issue or request regarding it had to be agreed by the parish council who are custodians.
A spokeman for the bowls club chairman, Dick Dunham, said he had no comment for Lincolnshire Free Press, but he had made a statement to the parish council.
Parish council chairman Terry Harrington said he was having a meeting with members to discuss the situation yesterday (Tuesday) morning.