Stamp issue pays tribute to swannery

THE Abbotsbury Swannery in Dorset, which is home to the largest colony of nesting mute swans in Britain (some of which are pictured, right) this month celebrates its 600th anniversary.

The swannery, at Chesil Beach, was founded by Benedictine monks to provide food during winter months. It currently houses 800 birds.

A series of five commemorative stamps by the artist David Gentleman, to be issued next Tuesday, shows swans, cygnets and eggs at the swannery.

The duck decoy once used to capture ducks for the table - and now used to allow them to be ringed for research and released - is depicted on the 24p stamp (below) with a cygnet in the foreground.

(Photograph omitted)

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