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History of Beavers in the UK by Prof Bryony Coles

Friday 13th February, 7-8pm

Great North Museum: Hancock, Newcastle

After an introduction to European Beavers and their activities, this talk will outline the types of evidence which can be used to identify their presence in former times, and their history in Britain from the end of the last Ice Age to the probable time of their extinction, including recent evidence found in Northumberland. People hunted Beavers from early times, for food and fur and medicine, and questions to consider will include the extent of human contribution to their extinction. With the trial release of Beavers and their establishment in Scotland the pros and cons of reintroducing this native species throughout Britain will also be considered.

Bryony Coles, Emeritus Professor at Exeter University, is an archaeologist with particular interests in prehistory, wetland archaeology and the long-term interactions between humans and their environment. In 2004 she won the Earth Watch Balloon Debate at the Natural History Museum in London as advocate for Beavers, and in 2006 she published Beavers in Britain’s Past.