Issue Date: 17/04/2018
Issue Name: Reintroduced Species
Producer: Buckingham Covers
Working in association with the Wildwood Trust we have produced this fantastic Reintroduced Species first day cover, which features the full set of 6 stamps issued on 17th April, 2018. Our lovely cover design features Wildwood's very own Eurasian Beaver, which have been a great success of the Trust's work to reintroduce animals to the wild, along with our Reintroduced Species Herne Bay first day of issue postmark.
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.
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 a 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 beaver 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.
Want to see our all the covers in our 6th Series? View them all here
Dame Jane Morris Goodall DBE, formerly Baroness Jane van Lawick-Goodall, is a British primatologist and anthropologist.