Anyone for crayfish?

Image: Oxyman

Ever been for a dip in Hampstead ponds? If not, you may have missed your chance, as North London‘s natural swimming pools are currently under attack, from giant red swamp crayfish!

Yes, according to the national newspapers, these critters have been getting friendly with swimmers recently, going as far as to nip their extremities. And, rumor has it, that the crayfish are particularly feisty in the men’s pool – where many of its swimmers like to do lengths naked…

It all came to light when the local council noticed a rise in the number of nips that had been reported, prompting a spokesman for the City of London Corporation to recommend that ‘swimmers keep their distance to avoid getting a pinch’, and advising people to ‘wear clothes in the ponds’.

The red swamp crayfish, known for their aggressive temperament and large pincers, were first found in Hampstead Ponds 20 years ago, but have been multiplying fast and now number around 5,000. And, aside from the obvious painful implications, it now seems the monster prawns could be an environmental hazard too:

‘They just breed and breed and breed’, said the chairman of the Hampstead Heath Anglers Association. ‘They eat all the fish in the ponds and there is nothing we can do to stop them. They are destroying the wildlife.’

Planning a visit to Hampstead Ponds? We’d suggest a wet suit…

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