UK’s forests celebrated with stunning stamp collection

Royal Mail is commemorating 100 years of the Forestry Commission by releasing a nature-themed stamp set.

Scotland’s Glen Affric, Wales’ Coed y Brenin and Northern Ireland’s Glenariff Forest are among the beautiful sites featured in a new stamp collection.

Royal Mail has released the nature-themed set to mark 100 years of the Forestry Commission, the department responsible for management of publicly owned forests across the UK.

The collection features six of the UK’s most stunning forests, including Gloucestershire’s Westonbirt Arboretum, Nottinghamshire’s Sherwood Forest, and Northumberland’s Kielder Forest.

Bringing forests to life

  • Glen Affric, Scotland, is a fragment of the once extensive Caledonian Forest. Its Scots pines and birches are the signature trees among a Highland setting of lochs, river and mountains.
  • Kielder Forest in Northumberland is the largest human-made forest in Britain stretching 250 square miles. The Forestry Commission harvests around 500,000 cubic metres of timber here each year. The felled areas are replanted with conifer and broadleaf trees, and parts are left open to create diverse habitats.
  • Coed y Brenin is one of the flagship forests of Natural Resources Wales comprising of commercial softwood forestry across some 7,650 acres, alongside mountain biking tracks and trails for hikers.
  • Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire is famous for its ancient oak trees, such as the Major Oak.
  • Westonbirt, The National Arboretum is the Forestry Commission’s flagship collection of trees in England. The 600-acre site showcases 3,000 tree species.
  • Glenariff Forest Park in Northern Ireland is home to a mixture of trails including the Waterfall Walk, a steep path up the vertical sides of the gorge taking in a succession of waterfalls.

‘On the Forestry Commission’s centenary these striking new stamps celebrate the beauty and tranquillity of our public woodlands, and the inspiring range of environments which receive hundreds of millions of visits each year,’ said Philip Parker of Royal Mail.

The power of green spaces to enhance mood has been highlighted in a study this week.

Other environmental benefits of forests include flood prevention and providing habitats for wildlife. Woodland also provides a space for a wealth of activities from walking and horse riding to birdwatching and mountain biking.

‘Our centenary is all about inspiring people to share our passion for forests and help us protect and improve them for generations to come,’ added PK Khaira-Creswell, of the Forestry Commission. ‘We are proud to be custodians of these stunning landscapes, which are indispensable for people and wildlife.’

The Forestry Commission was founded after the First World War saw clearances of huge natural areas.

As well as providing sustainable timber to UK industry, in the last 50 years the Commission’s focus has grown to embrace other areas. It is active in wildlife conservation, especially endangered bird and butterfly species, and the preservation of National Parks and Sites of Special Scientific Interest.

The stamps are currently on sale in 7,000 Post Offices throughout the UK.