BRITISH ANTARCTIC TERRITORIES STAMPS

PLACE AN ORDER

(Please cut and paste STAMP ITEM NUMBERS in to the order form)

 

The British Antarctic Territory (BAT) is a UK Overseas Territory and is administered in London by staff in the Polar Regions Department of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The Government of the Territory has its own legislative framework and makes a range of legal and administrative appointments. 

The BAT Government also has an advisory body on Place-Names and operates four Post Offices. The BAT has no indigenous population and presence in the Territory is provided by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS).  

 

23rd November 2021

FINAL VOYAGE OF THE RRS JAMES CLARK ROSS

In March 2021 the RRS James Clark Ross arrived in Harwich having completed its final season with the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). The ship’s five-and-a-half-month mission was to deliver scientific and operational staff to Antarctica, and to resupply the UK stations in Antarctica for another year.

In 1991 the RRS James Clark Ross became the first BAS vessel to be purpose-built as a science platform. Built by Swan Hunter Shipbuilders in the UK and launched by HM the Queen in 1990, she was primarily a marine research vessel for biological, oceanographic and geophysical cruises. She is equipped with a suite of laboratories and winch systems that allows scientific equipment to be deployed astern or amidships. During the northern summer she supported Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) research, largely in the Arctic.

The RRS James Clark Ross was named after Admiral Sir James Clark Ross, R.N. The vessel can steam at a steady two knots through level sea ice one metre thick. To assist passage through heavy pack ice, a compressed air system rolls the ship from side to side freeing the passage.

Her 30 years of service came at a time when the world is increasingly seeking answers to questions about the impacts of climate change, warming seas and ocean acidification. In her three decades of service she has seen some extraordinary achievements in all of these areas.

RRS James Clark Ross has provided a world leading floating platform for biological, oceanographic and geophysical research. She contained some of Britain’s most advanced facilities for oceanographic research in both Antarctica and the Arctic.

Professor Dame Jane Francis, Director of BAS said “The RRS James Clark Ross has been more than a workplace to her crew and those who sailed on her, it has been a home. As we look forward to a new era with the RRS Sir David Attenborough, the JCR joins the fleet of former BAS research ships that helped change the way we understand our world.”

The RRS James Clark Ross will be replaced with the RRS Sir David Attenborough and has been sold to the Ukrainian National Antarctic Scientific Centre. She has been renamed Noosfera and will continue to carry out important scientific investigations in the polar regions.

68p, 78p, £1.04, £1.26

 

Technical details:
 
Designs Bee Design
Photographs British Antarctic Survey
Printer Cartor Security Printing
Process Lithography
Perforation 13 ¼ x 13 ½ per 2cms
Stamp size 42 x 28mm
Sheet Layout 10
Release date 23 November, 2021
Production Coordination Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd

 

STAMP ITEM NUMBERS
 
ST012325     J.Clark Ross Final Voyage   Mint Set
ST012326     J.Clark Ross Final Voyage   CTO Set
ST012327     J.Clark Ross Final Voyage    FDC

 

30th Anniversary of the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty

The Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty (Environmental Protocol) was signed in Madrid on 4 October 1991 and entered into force in 1998. This year marks the 30th Anniversary of the signing of the Environmental Protocol, which provides a comprehensive framework for the protection of the Antarctic environment.

This unique international agreement protects the Antarctic environment and designates Antarctica as a natural reserve, devoted to peace and science. It prohibits mining and mineral resource activities in the Antarctic Treaty area except for scientific research purposes. Its six Annexes put in place measures for the protection of the Antarctic environment, including for the effective assessment of any environmental impact, the conservation of Antarctic fauna and flora and the protection and management of areas deemed to be of outstanding environmental, scientific, or historic value.

66p Protecting Historic Sites - Bransfield House

Following a conservation survey in 1994, British ‘Base A’ – Port Lockroy was recognised for its historical importance and designated as Historic Site and Monument No. 61 under the Antarctic Treaty. In 1996 a team from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), funded by the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust (UKAHT), renovated the buildings and since then the site has been open to visitors during the Antarctic summer (November to March).

Managed by the UKAHT as a ‘living museum’ it includes a small gift shop and the UK’s most southerly public Post Office – affectionately known as the Penguin Post Office. All profit from the shop proceeds goes towards renovation of other historic sites in Antarctica.

78p Protecting Wildlife - Emperor Penguin

The emperor penguin is the giant of the penguin world, reaching 122cm in height and weighing from 22 to 45kg. Endemic to Antarctica, Emperors are rarely seen in subantarctic waters.

The diet of an emperor penguin consists primarily of fish, krill and squid. An emperor penguin can remain submerged for up to 18 minutes and they are able to dive to a depth of 535 m. The emperor penguin is also the only penguin species that breeds during the Antarctic winter trekking 50 – 120 km over the ice to breeding colonies. The female lays a single egg which is incubated by the male while the female returns to the sea to feed. Parents take turns foraging at sea and caring for their chick. The lifespan of an emperor penguin is typically 20 years. Although they have a high survival rate compared to other penguins, with an average of 95% surviving the year, emperors are the least common Antarctic penguin, with only about 200,000 breeding pairs.

£1.26 Conducting Science – Twin Otter

The de Havilland Twin Otter aircraft is a high wing, twin engine, turboprop aircraft capable of carrying up to twenty passengers in the commuter role.

The version operated by the BAS is the wheel/ski equipped aircraft which has the capability to land on snow and ice or hard runways. These rugged aircraft are the backbone of the BAS Antarctic operations. They carry the scientists out into their field locations, they resupply them or move them during the season, and then recover the party to Rothera or Halley stations at the completion of their projects. They also carry airborne surveying equipment and can also provide an Antarctic search and rescue capability.

£1.40 Protecting Antarctica’s Wilderness – Wiencke Island

In much of the Antarctic region, a continent of 14 million km2 surrounded by the vast Southern Ocean, there is no or little evidence of past or present human activity. The notion of Antarctica as a wilderness is enshrined in the Environmental Protocol through commitments to protect Antarctica’s wilderness values.

 

Technical details:
 
Designer Bee Design
Photography: 68p Hannelore Cuypers
78p Sue Flood
£1.40 Lucy Dorman
£1.26 BAS
Printer Cartor
Process Lithography
Perforation 14 per 2cms
Stamp size 42.58 x 28.45mm
Sheet Layout 10
Release date 23 November, 2021
Production Coordination Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd

 

STAMP ITEM NUMBERS

 

ST012328     30 yrs of Enviro Protection    Mint Set
ST012329     30 yrs of Enviro Protection   CTO Set
ST012330     30 yrs of Enviro Protection   FDC

 

British Antarctic Territory: The Blue Belt Programme

The UK Overseas Territories (OTs) are home to globally significant biodiversity. The UK Blue Belt Programme recognises this, and since 2016 has worked with the Governments of these Territories to enhance the protection of these precious marine environments.

The Blue Belt enhances marine protection by supporting work in five key areas:

● understanding and protecting biodiversity

● strengthening governance

● managing human impacts

● supporting sustainable fisheries management

● supporting compliance and enforcement 

The Blue Belt Programme helps UK OTs and the UK work together to improve understanding of the effectiveness of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and how to improve them. This work is supported by two world leading organisations – the Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) and the Marine Management Organisation (MMO).

The waters around the British Antarctic Territory are amongst the most productive in the Southern Ocean, supporting large populations of krill, which feed larger predators, like baleen whales, penguins and seals. The Blue Belt Programme supports scientific understanding of the British Antarctic Territory, which is vital in developing climate-smart management. The programme has contributed valuable data to the management processes of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), which is responsible for marine protection and fisheries management around Antarctica. Through the development of sophisticated surveillance methods, we are better able to assess, and deter, the threat of illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing across the Southern Ocean.

These stamps highlight and celebrate some of the key elements of the Blue Belt Programme around the British Antarctic Territory.

68p - Krill

Krill is an important food source for many Antarctic predators. As part of the krill fishery management, their population status and foraging habits are continually monitored and management steps taken to reduce competition. The UK works in CCAMLR to ensure krill populations are conserved.

78p - Tourism

All human activity in Antarctica is carefully planned to enable well-managed, environmentally sensitive tourism alongside scientific endeavour and exploration.

£1.25 – Leopard Seal

The British Antarctic Territory works to protect the Southern Ocean and the multitude of animals that depend on it for food. Leopard seals, named after their leopard-like spots, are fearsome predators. They are the largest of the true Antarctic seals and the only seals which eat other seals.

£1.35 – Brittlestar

Improving understanding of biodiversity is a key objective of the Blue Belt Programme. More than 6,000 different species have been identified living on the floor of the Southern Ocean and more than half are unique to Antarctica. One of these is the Astrohamma tuberculatum, a type of Antarctic brittlestar or snake star.

 

Technical Details

Design Andrew Robinson
Photographs 68p, £1.35 British Antarctic Survey
78p Genna Roland
Printer Cartor
Process Stochastic lithography
Perforation 13 ¼ x 13 ½ per 2cms
Stamp size 42 x 28mm
Souvenir Sheet size 110 x 80mm
Sheet layout 10
Release date 23rd November 2021
Production Coordination Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd

 

STAMP ITEM NUMBERS

ST012310    Blue Belt Programme     Mint Set
ST012311    Blue Belt Programme     Mint S/S
ST012312    Blue Belt Programme     CTO Set
ST012313    Blue Belt Programme     CTO S/S
ST012314    Blue Belt Programme     FDC
ST012315    Blue Belt Programme     FDC S/S

 

Recent Releases

95th Birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

The Government of the British Antarctic Territory takes great pleasure in releasing a set of six stamps in celebration of The Queen’s 95th birthday.

The stamps will be released on Her Majesty’s actual birthday, 21 April. Each of the stamps depict key aspects of Her Majesty’s life, from a young Princess, to her Coronation and Marriage as well as managing to enjoy some Leisure time and Pageantry, out and about fulfilling her Royal Duties.

 

 

 

On her twenty-first birthday, 21 April 1947, Princess Elizabeth was with her parents and younger sister, Princess Margaret, on a tour of South Africa. In a speech broadcast on the radio from Cape Town, the Princess dedicated her life to the service of the Commonwealth. The theme of the stamp issue, “Devoted to your service”, is taken from that speech: “I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.”

This special issue is a collaboration between 11 postal administrations which sees the three Crown Dependencies, Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man, join The Bahamas and seven UK Overseas Territories, Ascension Island, British Antarctic Territory, British Virgin Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands, and Tristan da Cunha to mark the birthday of the world’s longest reigning monarch.

Stamps

  • 53p Princess. The Princess Elizabeth is pictured holding a corgi in the grounds of Windsor Castle, 30 May 1944. (Photo by Lisa Sheridan/Studio Lisa/Getty Images).
  • 68p Coronation. A portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, circa mid-1950's. (Photo by: Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images).
  • 78p Marriage. The Queen and Prince Philip say farewell to the Italian President and his wife as they depart Buckingham Palace at the end of their State Visit on March 17, 2005. (Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images).
  • £1.04 Leisure. The Queen sitting on rocks beside a waterfall on the Garbh Allt Burn with a corgi on her lap. The photograph was taken on the Estate at Balmoral Castle, Scotland during the Royal Family's annual summer holiday in September 1971 and was part of a series of photographs taken for use during the Silver Wedding Celebrations in 1972. (Photo by Lichfield Archive via Getty Images).
  • £1.26 Pageantry. During the 1954 Royal Tour of Australia, Queen Elizabeth II is pictured leaving the State Opening of Parliament at Parliament House, Hobart. (Photo by Popperfoto via Getty Images/Getty Images).
  • £1.35 Royal Duty. The Queen laughs as she is taken on a tour of the Carole Brown Health Centre in Dersingham, Norfolk in February 2009. (Photo by Chris Jackson/PA Archive/PA Images).
  • The FDC features two images of Her Majesty; a contemporary picture of the Queen who is fondly known throughout the world and a beautiful portrait, circa 1929, of the young Princess Elizabeth before it was realised that she would be acceding to the throne. (Photos via Getty Images).

 

Technical details:
Designer Bee Design
Printer Cartor Security Printing
Process Lithography
Perforation 13 ¼ x 13 ¼ per 2cms
Stamp size 36 x 36mm
Sheet Layout 10
Release date 21 April, 2021
Production Coordination Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd

 

Antarctic Birds - December 2020

Adaptations of polar seabirds for survival in their extreme environment include dense plumage for insulation and a countercurrent heat exchange system to stop their feet freezing. All species in this stamp issue breed at very high latitudes, and three of them – the snow petrel, Antarctic petrel and south polar skua – are recorded visiting the Geographic South Pole. It is one thing for a seabird to thrive in Antarctica in the austral summer when there is abundant food in coastal waters and 24-hour daylight, but quite another to tolerate the intense cold and darkness of the austral winter. However, only some spend their nonbreeding season in much warmer climes.

 

 

The snow petrel, Antarctic petrel and southern fulmar are in the order Procellariiformes (tubenoses), which have evolved unique adaptations associated with oceanic lifestyles involving foraging trips of 100s and sometimes 1000s of km from colonies during breeding. Adults produce stomach oil by partial digestion of prey, and so can transport enough energy to the chick despite long intervals between feeds. The oil also provides excellent defence when regurgitated, as most predators are avian and the oil causes matting of the feathers, reducing waterproofing and flight capability. 

Dainty and with all-white plumage, the Snow Petrel is many people’s favourite Antarctic seabird. It breeds colonially on Antarctic islands and sometimes – like the Antarctic petrel - 100s of kilometres inland on nunataks (exposed rocky peaks and ridges above the ice sheet). Where there is little precipitation, deposits of regurgitated stomach oil build up just outside the entrance to crevices, analysis of which can reveal occupation histories of these sites and patterns of glaciation stretching back tens of thousands of years.

68p The South Polar Skua breeds on islands close to the Antarctic continent and feeds at sea, mainly on Antarctic silverfish, or penguin colonies, but the latter only where there are no sympatric brown skuas (which are much larger and would dominate in disputes over prey). South polar skuas are exceptional long-distance migrants and have diverse strategies; birds tracked from the same colony in the South Shetland Islands included transequatorial migrants to various regions in the North Atlantic or North Pacific Oceans, and a small proportion wintered in the southern hemisphere.

78p The Antarctic Shag, now usually considered a separate species within the blue-eyed shag species complex, is the only cormorant found at very high latitudes. It is a coastal species and non-migratory, but is often forced away from breeding colonies in the austral winter to roosting sites close to the ice edge in order to feed in open water (and in 24-hour darkness). Unlike most Antarctic seabirds, this species feeds predominantly on fish and not krill, and are by far the best diver of the flying seabirds, reaching a maximum depth of around 60 m.

£1.04 The Antarctic Petrel is another species with a very high-latitude breeding distribution in coastal Antarctica. High densities found in ship-based surveys in the Weddell and Ross Seas suggest a world population that far exceeds that known from land-based surveys, i.e. huge colonies may remain undiscovered. Clues to their whereabouts can be provided by satellite remote-sensing used to detect the unique spectral signature of guano, allowing seabird colonies to be discriminated from background geology. 

£1.26 The Southern Fulmar is closely related to the familiar northern fulmar of the North Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and is just as widespread but at the opposite end of the globe. Its stiff-winged fluttering interspersed with long glides, and unique silhouette make it easy to identify at sea. Like most Antarctic seabirds, southern fulmars eat mainly krill and fish, and occasionally squid, which they obtain at the sea surface or within a few metres depth.

Text by Richard Phillips, UKRI BAS.

 

Technical Details:

Designer Andrew Robinson

Printer Cartor Security Printing

Process Stochastic lithography

Perforation 13 ¼ x 13 ½ per 2cms

Stamp size 42 x 28mm

Sheet layout 10

Release date Expected December 2020

Production Coordination Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd

 

 STAMP ITEM NUMBERS

       ST012229      Antarctic Birds    Mint Set
      ST012230      Antarctic Birds    CTO Set
ST012231      Antarctic Birds     FDC

 

 

Discovering Antarctica Stamp Design Competition - December 2020

 

2020 marks the 200th Anniversary of the discovery of the Antarctic continent, an incredible environment that is full of life both above and below the ocean.

The UK has a long and proud history in Antarctica and plays a leading role in protecting and studying the continent. The British Antarctic Territory forms the largest and most southerly of the UK’s 14 Overseas Territories. The UK’s claim to this part of Antarctica is the oldest of any made on the continent, dating back to 1908.

 

 

Our world-class science is conducted by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), who will soon be able to make use of the new polar ship RRS Sir David Attenborough – which some of you will know as Boaty McBoatface! 

To celebrate the 200th Anniversary, a competition was run for children aged 4 – 17 years old to design an official postage stamp for the British Antarctic Territory. The design theme was “Discovering Antarctica”, with four lucky winners having their very own drawings featured on official stamps.

A panel of 5 judges, which included representatives from the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), the British Antarctic Survey and the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust held a lively discussion to review the entries for each age group. The winning designs include a range of subjects which were felt to represent the ‘Discovering Antarctica’ theme.

The judges also wanted to highlight the great work of the runners up and their designs feature on the official First Day Cover envelope. The winning designs were adapted to a stamp format before being presented to HM The Queen for final approval before they were printed.

We think the designs make a wonderful and vibrant set with the ‘Discovering Antarctica’ theme well captured across the designs. The Government of the British Antarctic Territory would like to thank all those who submitted designs and for helping to mark the 200th anniversary since the discovery of the Antarctic continent. 

68p Dorothy Johnson, age 6

Dorothy’s design of a whale was described by the judges as striking, making good use of colours and demonstrating the wildlife within the British Antarctic Territory.

Dorothy has told us, “I chose to draw a humpback whale because I like whales and I saw one in my Snail & the Whale book. I know they live in Antarctica.” For anyone unfamiliar with ‘The Snail and the Whale’, it is a popular children’s book by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler. (We’re fans of the book too!). Whales are also seeing a recovery in numbers in the Antarctic region, after being hunted in large numbers in the past. 

78p Jessica Barry, age 8

The judges felt that Jessica’s design was eye-catching, containing a broad range of subjects such as wildlife and science and that some of the expressions were brilliant.

Jessica explained “I love learning about animals from around the world and I wanted to show lots of the Antarctic animals that I heard about from a talk at school.” Jessica is right to highlight the range of wildlife that live in the Antarctic. From seals, whales, and sea creatures, to fish, penguins and a variety of other bird species. In her design, Jessica has also captured a visiting scientist who looks delighted at their surroundings.

£1.04 Oliver Sander, age 10

The judges described Oliver’s design as artistic, with lovely detail including the iceberg in the shape of the Antarctic continent.

Oliver explained “I have been inspired by multiple things to draw and paint this image. First of all, during my holidays, I completed my junior PADI diving qualification, which is the reason I added a diver and some special Antarctic underwater creatures. Secondly, icebergs are very common in Antarctica but I thought, as this was a stamp, it would be good for people to see the continent as an iceberg. The final thing is that there are many types of sea birds living in Antarctica. I didn’t want to include any penguins as I knew these would be a common feature in other competitors’ stamps but I did include a species of petrel which my parents saw on their trip to Antarctica. They even brought back and showed some original Antarctic stamps from many years ago which I was very excited to see!”

We’re so glad to see that Oliver has taken inspiration from many things. Icebergs, like the one in his design show that they come in wonderful and strange shapes as well as varying sizes. They are made from freshwater ice and some are so big due to snow that has fallen on them for hundreds of years. With Oliver’s new diving skills, perhaps he’ll discover an actual iceberg in the shape of Antarctica.

£1.26 Samaira Hasan, age 14

The judges agreed that Samaira’s design captured the history brilliantly, with good use of colour.

Samaira told us “My mother’s first-hand experience of visiting Rothera, the UK research station in Antarctica, helped me to appreciate the uniqueness and beauty of this continent which I wanted to portray in the design. During the Discovery Expedition, Scott, Wilson and Shackleton were key crew members who demonstrated crucial characteristics including perseverance and resourcefulness which is why I wanted to illustrate their voyage. In the stamp, I drew the Discovery Ship and the tethered hydrogen balloon that Scott took to the air during the expedition.”

What a journey that must have been for Captain Scott and his crew. Samaira is right that their efforts showed extreme resourcefulness and perseverance. Her depiction of Scott and his balloon conducting aerial reconnaissance stands the test of time. We still use this method today to monitor climate change and weather patterns in Antarctica.

 

Technical Details

Designers 68p Dorothy Johnson, age 6

78p Jessica Barry, age 8

£1.04 Oliver Sander, age 10

£1.26 Samaira Hasan, age 14

Printer Cartor Security Printing

Process Stochastic lithography

Perforation 13 ¼ x 13 ½ per 2cms

Stamp size 42 x 28mm

Sheet layout 10

Release date Expected December 2020

Production Coordination Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd

 

 STAMP ITEM NUMBERS

 ST012226      Discovering Antarctica Stamp Design Competition    Mint Set
ST012227      Discovering Antarctica Stamp Design Competition    CTO Set
ST012228      Discovering Antarctica Stamp Design Competition     FDC

 

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CENTENARY OF THE SCOTT POLAR RESEARCH INSTITUTE

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200th ANNIVERSARY OF THE DISCOVERY OF ANTARCTICA