Whist their present day counterparts are making the news in Devon, evidence of much earlier native beaver has been uncovered right in the heart of the capital.
This beaver tooth was found almost eight metres beneath Victoria Tower Gardens, immediately adjacent to the Palace of Westminster. It was buried underneath the thick Thames silts which underlie the site, and is expected to date from at least 3000 years ago.
Environmental Supervisor Nicki Mulhall (pictured) found the tooth whilst recording core samples as part of a geoarchaeological borehole survey undertaken just last weekend. The survey is in support of construction works for a new Parliamentary Education Centre adjacent to the palace, which will allow the number of schoolchildren visiting Parliament to more than double to 100,000 per year.
Beavers were native to Britain for most of the last 12,000 years since the end of the last Ice Age, before going extinct in England at least 800 years ago.
David Norcott 
Manager, Geoarchaeology & Environmental