Butterflies

Butterflies are a topic popular with stamp collectors and the public alike. A Butterflies issue from Royal Mail, available from today, celebrates the British love of butterflies on 10 beautiful stamps.

Butterflies presentation pack.

Butterflies presentation pack.

The last time Royal Mail issued a set of stamps devoted to butterflies was 1981; hence it was high time that subject was returned to.

Butterflies stamps issued 13 May 1981. 14p – Aglais urticae, 18p – Maculinea arion, 22p – Inachis io, 25p – Carterocephalus palaemon.

Butterflies stamps issued 13 May 1981. 14p – Aglais urticae, 18p – Maculinea arion, 22p – Inachis io, 25p – Carterocephalus palaemon.

To create a brand new special issue, Royal Mail turned to renowned artist Richard Lewington. The 10 UK species of butterflies chosen are a mix of endangered and the more common and familiar, and the delicate illustrations depict these beautiful creatures to stunning effect.

1st Class - Comma (Polygonia c-album)

1st Class – Comma (Polygonia c-album)

1st Class - Orange-tip (Anthocharis cardamines)

1st Class – Orange-tip (Anthocharis cardamines)

1st Class - Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas)

1st Class – Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas)

1st Class - Chalkhill Blue (Polyommatus coridon)

1st Class – Chalkhill Blue (Polyommatus coridon)

1st Class - Swallowtail (Papilio machaon)

1st Class – Swallowtail (Papilio machaon)

1st Class - Purple Emperor (Apatura iris)

1st Class – Purple Emperor (Apatura iris)

1st Class - Marsh Fritillary (Euphydryas aurinia)

1st Class – Marsh Fritillary (Euphydryas aurinia)

1st Class - Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni)

1st Class – Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni)

1st Class - Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)

1st Class – Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)

1st Class - Marbled White (Melanargia galathea)

1st Class – Marbled White (Melanargia galathea)

Royal Mail features at least one set of stamps on wildlife each year, and in recent years has chosen to highlight the plight of threatened species by promoting them on the post. Many butterflies are in decline in the UK. Three quarters of UK species have decreased in either distribution or numbers over the last 10 years. However, intensive conservation efforts have increased a number of threatened species, such as the Marsh Fritillary, featured in the set. The yearly nationwide survey, the Big Butterfly Count, takes place from 20 July–1 August, 2013.

The full range of Butterflies stamps and products are available from Post Offices across the UK, online at www.royalmail.com/butterflies, and by phone on 08457 641 641.

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