GIANT rats have taken over a children’s play area.

The large rodents were spotted in Saunders Park in Brighton over the weekend by a “disgusted” mother who had taken her child to play.

The rats were running over benches in the park and scuttling across the grass.

Mother Nicola Ojibara said: “I took my daughter to the park and she was on the toddler swings and then she was like ‘look Mum, there’s a rat’.

“I saw one under a bench, then I saw another and then another.

“I saw five, the fifth one ran over my foot as I took a picture – it was disgusting.

“I really felt like going to the hospital and getting tested for the whole lot.

“I was really freaking out – I would be no good on I’m a Celebrity.”

The park, which is off Lewes Road and Hollingdean Road, contains a play area, paddling pool, basketball and football courts and, now, outsize rodents.

Nicola took pictures of the creatures, some of which were running over the park’s tables, on Saturday.

“I phoned up my mum first and she said ring the council,” she said.

“I rang them from the park and they were closed and told me that they wouldn’t do anything until Monday.

“I thought ‘nah mate, this a children’s playground with kids around’.

“The rats will be pooing and peeing and they could be picking it up and putting it in their mouths.”

Brighton and Hove City Council did not respond to a request for comment.

However, a statement on its website about the park reads: “Saunders Park is a valued and well-used community park.

“It has benefited from significant investment between 2018 and 2020.

“There is a new cafe and public toilets.

“The new ‘More than you thought’ signage hints at the many facilities and attractions of this four acre community and wildlife haven.”

This comes after The Argus reported how rats were becoming “fearless” as they were forced to find new food sources during the UK lockdown.

Pest controller Charlie Jones said he had seen a sudden surge in call-outs from people finding brazen rodents running through their homes in Brighton and Hove.