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Pony express – New Forest to feature in first stamp series of the new year

The stamp featuring the New Forest
The stamp featuring the New Forest

AN idyllic scene depicting the New Forest is set to feature as one of 10 special Royal Mail stamps celebrating the 70th anniversary of Britain’s national parks.

It is the first of the Royal Mail’s ‘Special Stamps Issue’ for 2021. The New Forest scene features a grazing pony and is one of 10 of the nation’s 15 national parks to feature on the stamps, which will go on sale from 14th January.

Philip Parker, from the Royal Mail, added: “Ten spectacular national parks have been captured in stunning photographs that reflect their diversity and splendour. We are proud to be able to share the beauty of these parks on stamps at a time when so many of us have had our travel restricted.”

The Royal Mail said it decided to honour national parks because the first four – the Peak District, Lake District, Dartmoor and Snowdonia – were founded in 1951 after decades of efforts to open up the countryside to the public.

“The UK’s national parks cover a breathtaking range of natural environments, from cold tundra to temperate rainforest, from gigantic sea cliffs to rolling chalk hills, from razor-sharp mountains to marshy wetlands,” it continued.

“They are also places where people have lived, worked, worshipped, farmed and traded for centuries, in ways that have shaped – and been shaped by – the surrounding environment. These landscapes are 15 unique combinations of human culture and natural history.”

The Royal Mail added: “Today, most of us take for granted the ability to freely enjoy these landscapes, but it was not always so.

“In the 19th century, the Industrial Revolution turned Britain into the world’s first predominantly urban nation, but people in towns and cities held on to visions of a ‘green and pleasant land’ and found ways to keep links to landscapes around them alive through hiking, cycling, rambling and climbing.

“In the 1870s, the limited access ordinary people had to the countryside gave rise to the ‘right to roam’ movement. The 1932 mass trespass on Kinder Scout in the Peak District proved to be instrumental, galvanising public opinion after five of the young leaders were given prison sentences.

“The UK’s national parks, created in the same post-war rebuilding effort as the NHS, are one of the great legacies of this movement. For all their diversity, the national parks have one thing in common: they belong to all of us.”

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