In summer 2019, Royal Mail created a special stamp collection to celebrate 100 years of the nation’s public forests, featuring six spectacular forest landscapes from around the UK.
Three forests in England are brought to life – Gloucestershire’s Westonbirt Arboretum, Nottinghamshire’s Sherwood Forest, and Northumberland’s Kielder Forest. In addition, the collection features Scotland’s Glen Affric, Coed y Brenin in Wales, and Northern Ireland’s Glenariff Forest.
The forest landscapes on the stamps show the role the Forestry Commission has played in shaping the character of the nation's countryside over the last 100 years. The organisation has evolved to become an environment and outdoor recreation leader through forests and woodlands, while continuing to support timber production.
There are a number of formats available from the Royal Mail website:
- Set of 6 stamps
- Presentation pack
- Framed set of 6 stamps
- First day cover stamps
- Stamp souvenir
- First day envelope
- Set of 6 postcards
The collection is supported with literature that explores how the forests of Britain have transformed over the last few centuries, the successful establishment of the Forestry Commission in 1919 to replenish the UK’s depleted timber resources, the rich flora and fauna of our woodlands, and the many wellbeing benefits forests offer visitors today.
Kielder Forest, England
Kielder Forest in Northumberland is the largest human-made forest in Britain, stretching 250 square miles (647sq km); around 75 per cent is covered by trees. The Forestry Commission harvests around 500,000 cubic metres of timber here each year. The felled areas are replanted using a mixture of conifer and broadleaf trees, and parts are left open to create a diversity of habitats.
Sherwood Forest, England
Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire is famous for its rich assemblage of ancient oak trees, notably the Major Oak, arguably Britain’s most famous tree. The atmospheric image on the stamp, however, shows a fine stand of conifers, well illustrating the fact that broadleaf trees and conifers both have a place in this celebrated forest.
Westonbirt, The National Arboretum, England
Westonbirt, The National Arboretum is the Forestry Commission’s flagship collection of trees in England. First created by the wealthy Holford family almost 200 years ago, it is one of the most beautiful and diverse botanical collections in the world. The 600-acre (243ha) site with 17 miles (27km) of paths showcases 3,000 tree species, including the Japanese maples seen on the stamp.
Coed y Brenin, Wales
Located near Dolgellau in the Snowdonia National Park, Coed y Brenin is now one of the flagship forests of Natural Resources Wales. Commercial softwood forestry across some 7,650 acres (3,093ha) of Forest Park combines with recreational facilities for mountain bikers and a network of spectacular scenic trails for hikers, based around the impressive visitor centre.
Glenariff Forest, Northern Ireland
Glenariff Forest Park in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, boasts a beautiful mixture of views and trails that allow the visitor to enjoy a wide variety of walks and activities. Probably the most spectacular of these is the Waterfall Walk, a steep path up the vertical sides of the gorge and along elevated boardwalks taking in a succession of dramatic waterfalls.
Glen Affric, Scotland
Glen Affric in Inverness-shire is a fragment of the once extensive Caledonian Forest. Its rugged Scots pines and graceful birches are the signature trees in a landscape where forest, lochs, river and mountains combine to create the perfect Highland setting, which is breathtaking at any time of year but especially when the birches take on their golden apparel.