FIRST came the deep-fried Mars bar – followed by deepfried pizza, Creme Eggs and a vast array of other unlikely gastronomic experiments.

Now one farming couple is hoping to start off a whole new chip shop trend – bunnies in batter.

For Philip and Nelly Trevelyan, are hoping to sell wild rabbits to their local fish and chip shop after their North Yorkshire farm became overrun.

Mr Trevelyan, who runs an organic sheep and grain farm at Hill Top in Spaunton, Kirkbymoorside, near Pickering, said his wife came up with the idea of selling rabbit as a cheap, tasty alternative to other meats.

Negotiations are still at an early stage, but Debbie Clarkson, manager at Moorside Fisheries, in Kirbymoorside, said it was a clear case of “nothing ventured, nothing gained”.

Mr Trevelyan said: “Nelly is chair of the local Food Group, and she is an excellent cook.

“She thought of rabbit because it is freely available as well as being tasty, nutritious and cheap – ideal for people trying to cut costs during the credit crunch.

“Rabbit was once widely enjoyed in this country, but it is not commonly eaten now.

“We are hoping to re-instate it as a tasty meat that can be cooked in a variety of ways and enjoyed by everyone.”

Ms Clarkson said: “Talks with the Trevelyans are still very much in the early stages, but it’s definitely an idea worth exploring.

“There’s no way you could deep fry a whole rabbit because it is so bony, but there are many other ways you could cook it – for example in bite-size nuggets, battered steaks, and burgers.”

She explained that the next stage would be to start consulting customers to see how they would feel about the venture.

“It’s difficult to tell how they will react,” she said.

“On one hand rabbit is a very tasty meat, and very reasonably- priced, but on the other hand people might struggle with the idea of eating a cute, furry little bunny.

“Personally I love the taste of rabbit, especially in casseroles, and I think this is definitely something worth looking into.

“I can’t say for definite whether or not we will be serving up rabbit at Moorside any time soon, but it’s certainly worth looking at.

“After all, nothing ventured, nothing gained.”