Royal Mail has brought together some of the worlds finest wildlife photographers
to create some animal magic on its latest Special Stamps.
Stephen Dalton and Mark Hamblin are just two famous names whose work will appear
on millions of Woodland Animals stamps when they go on sale on 16 September.
ten 1st Class stamps feature intimate portraits of some of our most elusive
woodland creatures from the Yellow-necked mouse to the more familiar badger.
Stamp designer Kate Stephens was briefed to explore photography that showed
the animals caught behaving naturally in their own habitats and, where possible,
to capture a moment of surprise at which point the animal is looking
directly at the camera.
The result? Stamps that not only reveal the individual beauty of each animal,
but also give people the chance to see some of our rarest woodland animals,
almost face to face.
The legendary Stephen Dalton, whose shot of a yellow-necked mouse can be seen
peeping out from a hollow branch, is no stranger to working with Royal Mail.
His incredible multi-frame images of a barn owl and kestrel taking off and
landing were used on Royal Mails Birds of Prey stamps last year.
The full line-up of woodland animals are as follows - top: pine marten, red
deer, badger, yellow-necked mouse, wild cat; bottom: red squirrel, stoat, Natterers
bat, mole, fox.
But if you still dont know your bats from your cats, a fully illustrated
Presentation Pack written by Bill Oddie and Dr Kenny Taylor from the BBCs
Wildlife Magazine reveals all and contains all the stamps as well.
In it Bill explains his love of wildlife, while BBC Wildlife Magazines
Dr Kenny Taylor gives a potted biography of each animal its lifestyle,
diet and habits.
Woodland Animals is the fourth set of the Animal series which started in 2001
with Cats and Dogs, continued in 2002 with Kiplings Just So Stories and
Birds of Prey in 2003.This theme concludes with Farm Animals in 2005.
Pine marten John Cancalosi/Nature Picture Library;
Roe deer Andy Rouse/NHPA;
Badger Laurie Campbell/NHPA;
Yellow-necked mouse Stephen Dalton/NHPA;
Wild cat Mark Hamblin;
Red squirrel Niall Benvie/Nature Picture Library;
Stoat Gordon Langsbury/Bruce Colman;
Natterers bat Kim Taylor/Bruce Colman;
Mole Guy Edwardes/NHPA;
Red fox Laurie Campbell/NHPA