Flowers in March in Britain

Over the years Britain’s Royal Mail has released many different illustrations on their postage stamps – and on Wednesday 21st March 1979 the ‘pictures’ were of Flowers.  These stamps had been designed by Peter Newcombe – a highly regarded artist that sadly passed away in 1991.  Here, in 1979, each stamp tells a story:

Because of over-picking, and uprooting, the numbers of these much loved British wild flowers diminish annually.  A campaign by many conservation organisations, including the World Wildlife Fund, led to the ‘Conservation of Wild Creatures and Wild Plants Act’ of 1975.  From that day forward it has been an offense to uproot any wild plant or even to pick the most endangered species.  Sadly many people still ignore what they see.

So, what were the four flowers that decorated our postage stamps in the Spring of 1979?

The 9p stamp showed Primroses: ‘The pale yellow, sweetly scented Primroses typify British hedgerows and backsides in Spring.  Originally a woodland plant, the primrose now flourishes on the semi-shaded, well-drained, sloping ground of country lanes’

The 10½p stamp showed Daffodils: ‘The small, elegant, two-tone Wild Daffodil, once abundant in Britain, has suffered heavily from the depredations of plant collectors and is now abundant in only a few areas.’

The 11p stamp showed Bluebells: ‘The Blubell flourishes in open woodland on light, acid soil.  The blue flowers that cover the floor of so many British woodlands in Spring are found only in Western Europe.’

The 13p stamp showed Snowdrops: ‘The Snowdrops is considered a native plant in only a few places in the South West and has ‘escaped’ from cultivation elsewhere.  The outer bell of petals protects the reproductive organs of these frost resistant flowers against rain or snow.’

Pictures of these – and other – protected stamp illustrations can be located on the Internet.

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