Not sure if there's such a thing as a good year for rats but, after many years of keeping a few hens, I've got an infestation of rats in my chicken run and nearby compost bins and a small manure heap. My neighbours are having similar problems (we all have small strips of agricultural land adjoining our gardens). We live in a small village on the western side of Lincolnshire.
Local rat-catcher is using traps in boxes (I have a dog and cat so won't risk poison) using chocolate spread and now also dog or cat food as bait. Score after 2 weeks is 6 dead rats but still more holes appearing or existing ones getting bigger.
Interested to know if anyone else is having similar problems at the moment and, if so, what methods you're using to get rid of the blighters.