mammoth tusk

This 6 foot long mammoth tusk found off the coast of West Mersea, Essex could easily be mistaken for a piece of driftwood
Scientists have urged Brits to get digging around our coastline after discovering a massive mammoth tusk which could date back 14,000 years, was found on a beach.

Britain's last known woolly mammoths died after they fell into holes left by melting ice blocks. It's not clear how old the tusk is, but the last mammoths are believed to have walked Britain 14,000 years ago.

The incredible find was made by volunteers with Coastal and Intertidal Zone Archaeological Network (Citizan) on Thursday morning off Mersea Island.

Project officer Stephanie Ostrich said: "We came across it by chance. It is incredibly fragile and quite a rare find." Dog-walkers and beachgoers have been urged to keep an eye out for unusual pieces of wood that could turn out to be invaluable artefacts.

Project Leader Mr Gustav Milne, 69, said it was only a matter of time before these treasures were washed away.

The Museum of London Archaeology associate, who has been an archaeologist for 44 years, said: "If you can see it it's in the process of destruction.

"We want to get suitable community groups right the way down the British coast.

"We want them all around the country looking out for coastal heritage assets - they are coastal history before it's washed away.

"Many coast-lines are eroding rapidly. It's the agent of discovery and the agent of destruction.

Mersea Island is proving to be a historical gem.

Bronze Age trackways which connected Mersea Island and now underwater islands were recently discovered.

The research could "show what the coast would have looked like which gives us a very different picture of how it was in the past".

The CITIZan project, which has some 20 volunteers across the country, is funded by the Heritage Lottery fund, National Trust and the Crown Estate.