| Bristol onion features on new Royal Mail stamps
Royal Mail launched its latest set of stamps at the Clifton Suspension Bridge. The new stamps which feature endangered plants were launched in Bristol to coincide with the start of Bristol Zoo’s Plant Conservation Week. The Round-headed leek or ‘Bristol onion’ is native to the Avon Gorge and although it is endangered it can still be found locally and this is testament to the success of conservation projects.
More than 450 species of wild plants currently face national extinction, and to highlight the threat to our native flora, Royal Mail is issuing stamps featuring ten examples of our endangered plants.
Bristol Zoo Gardens is joining botanic gardens and zoos across the globe this month to celebrate Plant Conservation Day and the wonderful world of plants with a variety of displays and activities at the Zoo from May 16-20.
Eddie Mole, Head of Horticulture at Bristol Zoo Gardens said: “The Avon Gorge is famous for its rare plants, including the Bristol onion which doesn’t grow anywhere else in the UK.
“We’re delighted that Royal Mail has chosen to illustrate the delicate beauty of these plants on its latest set of stamps.”
Over the last 10 years Bristol Zoo has been one of the partners in the Avon Gorge and Downs Wildlife Project. The project has been working hard to ensure that the Bristol onion continues to thrive in the Avon Gorge by monitoring this rare plant’s numbers, carrying out practical conservation work and running an education programme to promote awareness and understanding.
The set will be available in Post Offices and other outlets from 19 May in a block of ten 1st Class stamps, Plants is the third in Royal Mail’s Action for Species series, which examines the UK’s endangered flora and fauna. The stamps are also accompanied by a special four-stamp Miniature Sheet which celebrates the 250th anniversary of the world famous Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew.
Royal Mail worked closely with experts from conservation groups, the Royal Botanic Gardens and the Natural History Museum to select the ten endangered plants, which despite their threatened status, do represent a degree of recent conservation success.
Julietta Edgar, Head of Special Stamps, Royal Mail said: “It’s easy to forget that plants underpin the whole ecosystem and I hope that these beautifully illustrated stamps will help to bring to people’s attention the serious threat to wild plants in the UK