Reintroduced Species – Wildwood Trust First Day Cover
Reintroduced Species First Day Cover 17th April 2018
Today marks the release of Royal Mail’s Reintroduced Species stamps and subsequently our first day cover produced in partnership with Wildwood Trust.
We approached Wildwood back in October 2017 and following a single meeting we had an idea in place of being able to work together. The project aim was to be able promote the conservation work of Wildwood Trust’s (a local registered charity) and the work they have put in towards the reintroduction to the wild of animals such as the Eurasian Beaver, tying together closely with the release of the Royal Mail stamps.
Yesterday we delivered the first day covers to Wildwood and they will be available to see and purchase at their gift shop from today until stocks last, what better way to remember a visit to the fantastic Wildwood Discovery Park in Herne Bay, Kent than with a limited edition, genuine stamps collectable. Alternatively, if you can’t get to Wildwood in person you can purchase online.
Wildwood Trust who have successfully reintroduced the Eurasian Beaver as well as many other wildlife will receive £1 from every sale to go towards their ongoing re-introductory works.
Limited numbers of this cover are also available signed by Dame Jane Goodall priced at £28.50
[Reintroduced Species – First Day Covers arriving at Wildwood Trust]
The Reintroduction of the Eurasian Beaver
The Eurasian beaver is recovering from near extinction, after depredation by man for its fur and for castoreum, a secretion of its scent gland believed to have medicinal properties. The beaver became extinct in Great Britain in the 16th century, but is now one of a number of species being reintroduced in the UK.
Beaver are a keystone species helping to support the ecosystem of which they are an important part. They create wetlands, which increase biodiversity and provide habitat for many rare species such as water voles, otters, and water shrews.
They coppice waterside trees and shrubs so that they regrow as dense shrubs which provide cover for birds and other animals. Beaver dams trap sediment and improve water quality, recharge groundwater tables and increase cover and forage for trout and salmon.
Wildwood Trust, a wildlife charity and park based near Canterbury in Kent, has been supporting the reintroduction of beaver back to the UK since 1999. In 2001, the Kent Wildlife Trust with Wildwood Trust and Natural England imported two families of Eurasian beavers from Norway to manage a wetland nature reserve. This project pioneered the use of beavers as a wildlife conservation tool in the UK. The Kent beaver colony lives in a 130-acre (0.53 km2) fenced enclosure at the wetland of Ham Fen. Subsequently, the population has been supplemented in 2005 and 2008.
Wildwood Trust continues to regularly import beaver from the most genetically diverse sources in Europe, which are then quarantined and monitored in Wildwood’s conservation centre before release. In 2017, two of their beavers were sent to Scotland to reinforce the population in the Knapdale Forest, and plans are in place to supply beaver to a reintroduction area in Wales.
Since 1800 it is estimated that at least 400 species have become extinct in the UK. This has affected all types of animals and plants. The reasons for this loss include diminishing habitat and isolation from neighbouring populations.
Some endangered species struggle to re-establish healthy populations in new areas, through habitat fragmentation, or physical barriers such as roads and towns which prevent their population spreading naturally. Captive Breeding and reintroduction programmes are one method used to overcome these problems.
In recent years there have been several successful reintroduction programmes, including Eurasian Beaver, Pool Frog, Sand Lizard, Large Blue Butterfly, Osprey and Stinking Hawks-beard, all of which are featured on the stamps.