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Aioli versus Predator – It's war in Shere

PUBLISHED: 16:47 16 September 2010 | UPDATED: 17:50 20 February 2013

Aioli versus Predator – It’s war in Shere

Aioli versus Predator – It’s war in Shere

Customers at The William Bray in Shere have found themselves at the forefront of ecological warfare as they bravely consume locally caught American Crayfish, washed down with a cold glass of Chablis.

Customers at The William Bray in Shere have found themselves at the forefront of ecological warfare as they bravely consume locally caught American Crayfish, washed down with a cold glass of Chablis.

Chef Mark Routledge and local ecologist and countryside ranger Jim Storrar have got together to try to control the population of American Crayfish, which are damaging the natural ecosystem of one of our cleanest and prettiest rivers The Tillingbourne, which runs through Shere and other villages of the Surrey Hills.

Over sexed, over sized and over here, the American Crayfish were first introduced in the 1960s to provide diversification opportunities for farmersbut have since taken to their new habitat with gusto.


Much larger than our native crayfish and with no natural predators, the American interlopers are wiping out their food systems, creating havoc by burrowing in banks and dams and eating other endangered species such as dragon flies.

They are too prevalent to wipe out now but myself and others are trying our best to control numbers, says Jim Storrar. "The Tillingbourne is one of the cleanest rivers in England and therefore in real need of protection from this infestation.

After trapping Jim delivers his American Crayfish to Mark and they next appear as exotic menu items such as Chilled Tillingbourne Crayfish Bisque with Cucumber Spaghetti and Bloody Mary Ice Cubes.

As you can imagine, we are thrilled to find we have a fantastic supply of delicious crayfish literally right on our doorstep, commented Mark. Its funny, the crayfish bisque is a bit like Marmite; you either love it or hate it, but it is regularly selling out.

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