IT must be spring in England … an archaeologist has had to acknowledge a debt to a colony of rabbits for unearthing a "gold mine" at Land's End ... the farthest-west tip of England where tales of King Arthur abound.
Dean Paton says the "archaeo bunnies" dug up neolithic stone tools dating back 5,000 to 8,000 years.
Paton, who runs the Big Heritage business, was invited to Cornwall to investigate a recent discovery that shed light on the earliest human settlements, according to the WIRRAL GLOBE newspaper.
While there he learned about the exploits of the floppy-eared family who had been tagged "archaeo bunnies."
Dean, who studied archaeology at the University of Chester, explained: "Land's End staff member Eddie Williams had affectionately 'adopted' a family of wild rabbits who had created a network of burrows near the site’s Greeb Farm attraction."
But he soon noticed it wasn’t just soil being unearthed by the rabbits, but a series of curious flint objects which he decided to collect.
"Big Heritage was invited to the site to investigate further, and we found that Eddie's finds were a collection of flint scrapers and arrowheads dating back at least 5,000 years."
A thorough archaeological investigation of the land uncovered an Iron Age hill fort, a Bronze Age barrow cemetery, a Neolithic passage grave and a series of Iron Age field-systems - all evidence of humans being attracted to Land’s End for thousands of years.
Dean, aged 30 and from Bromborough said: "It's amazing how a family of rabbits have set in motion an incredible journey of discovery.
"Within the immediate vicinity of Land's End we were able to see a visible time-line of Britain, stretching deep into pre-history."
Big Heritage is now working closely with Land's End to create a series of attractions, new interpretation boards and school activities.
They include an 'archaeo-bunnies' trail to inspire budding young archaeologists to discover the past.