World Stamps

Great Britain showcases river wildlife in July 13 set of 10

Jul 13, 2023, 3 PM
On July 13, Royal Mail issued 10 River Wildlife stamps in two horizontal strips of five. The stamps in one strip of five are valued at the second-class rate (currently £0.75), and the stamps in the other strip are valued at the first-class rate (£1.10).

By Pete Gibson

A set of 10 stamps issued July 13 by Great Britain’s Royal Mail celebrates the diversity of wildlife in the United Kingdom’s rivers and streams.

The stamps, presented in two horizontal se-tenant (side-by-side) strips of five, each show a different species of insect, bird, fish or mammal. Text in the lower left corner of each stamp gives the common name of the animal shown.

The stamps in one se-tenant strip of five are valued at the second-class rate (currently 75 pence), and the stamps in the other strip are valued at the first-class rate (£1.10).

The “2nd” or “1st” service inscription appears in the upper right corner of the stamps and the silhouette of King Charles III in the upper left.

A second-class stamp in the set shows a beautiful demoiselle, a species of damselfly. Damselflies are similar to dragonflies but with smaller and slimmer bodies.

The other insect stamp in the set pictures a common mayfly. Adult mayflies fly from the water in swarms so massive that weather radar detects them. After spending about a year as larvae in the water, adult mayflies only live for a few minutes up to a couple of days.

The set includes three bird stamps: a kingfisher on a second-class stamp and a grey wagtail and dipper on first-class stamps.

The kingfisher and dipper have previously been depicted on Britain’s stamps.

Two stamps in the 1980 British Birds set of four show a kingfisher (Scott 884) and a dipper (885). The 1980 set includes a 15p stamp with a depiction of a yellow wagtail (887), which can be distinguished from the related grey wagtail partly due to the grey wagtail’s longer tail.

An Atlantic salmon can be seen on a second-class stamp in the new set of 10, and a brown trout on a first-class stamp. These fish have also been featured in a previous set of stamps. Two stamps in a 1983 River Fish set of four show a salmon (Scott 1011) and a trout (1013).

According to the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, salmon can be found in several hundred rivers around the United Kingdom. Brown trout, which can now be found around the world, are native to areas around Asia and Europe, including the British Isles.

Two second-class stamps show a beaver and a water vole, and a first-class stamp shows an otter.

The River Wildlife stamps and related products are available online from Royal Mail. Ordering information also is available from Royal Mail, Tallents House, 21 S. Gyle Crescent, Edinburgh, EH12 9PB, Scotland.

To learn more about the new River Wildlife stamps, subscribe to Linn’s Stamp News.

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