The Calf of Man
This beautiful set of ten stamps spotlights a variety of aspects of the Calf of Man with special emphasis on the conservation work of the Manx National Trust to mark the 70th anniversary of its foundation.
Manx National Heritage as well as the Manx National Trust both celebrate their 70th anniversaries in 2021. It was in 1951 that the Manx Museum and National Trust Act received Royal Assent on 28 April 1951, later announced to Tynwald on 15 May 1951. UNESCO; of which the Isle of Man is a biosphere Island, celebrates its 75th anniversary in November 2021.
1st: Calf of Man Nature Reserve (Peter Killey) – This stamp introduces the Calf as seen from the southern tip of the Isle of Man at The Sound, a popular tourist destination.
1st: Sea Transport (Mike Radcliffe) – The Calf Attending Boat. An integral lifeline to the Island, the transportation of people and supplies by sea is vital. The late Juan Clague, his son and dog are featured. Juan was a well-known and much-loved character who dedicated much of his life to the Calf attending service which is continued by his son Steve.
1st: Crucifixion Stone (MNH and Paul Corrin) – An internationally important ancient artefact and central to the Manx National Heritage National Collection. Carved by Celts in slate around the 8th century, the stone was discovered in the 1770s during the building of farm walls and is now displayed at the Manx Museum.
1st x 2: Calf of Man and Wart Bank Nature Reserve (Mike Radcliffe & Dr Lara Howe )– A popular home to marine life, seals are often found along the coastline of the Calf and are a well-loved spectacle to many Manx residents. Seal monitoring has been conducted by Manx Wildlife Trust volunteers on an annual basis since 2009.
The water quality is also closely monitored and a greater abundance of sea life is being reported such as the lion’s mane jellyfish pictured in our stamp.
EU: Manx Shearwater Recovery Project (Kevin Scott) - Manx National Heritage runs a number of projects to safeguard the natural world and in particular the bird life – the Manx Shearwater being so named as it was most plentiful here. As ground and night nesters they were losing their eggs to brown rats, so efforts have been made to reduce the brown rat population. The rat has not been completely eradicated but the Shearwater has responded with a very encouraging increase in breeding numbers.
This stamp forms our 2021 Europa stamp entry ‘Endangered National Species’.
EU: Infrastructure (Mike Radcliffe) – The dry-stone walling is a prominent feature of the landscape of the Calf, with work ongoing to restore and rebuild walling. The distant Chicken Rock lighthouse can also be seen on this stamp.
EU: Flora (Hannah Ehlers) - The Calf offers many beautiful species of flora, and this pink thrift, blossoming in late spring, is of particularly attractive while being hardy to saline air.
EU: Insect Conservation (Dr Lara Howe) – The Calf is home to some rare species of butterfly and moth. Moth trapping is conducted on the island, and the Calf has been responsible for the identification of several new species in recent years. This stamp highlights the Garden Tiger Moth.
EU: Calf of Man Bird Observatory (Shaun Murphy and Mike Radcliffe) – The observatory opened in 1959 and was formally accredited in 1962. It now focuses on seabird breeding: numerous gull species. The Calf’s population of loaghtan sheep helps to maintain the habitat in a condition that is beneficial for the breeding population of chough on the Calf.
We are very grateful to Shaun Murphy and Dr Erica Spencer of Manx National Heritage and Dr Lara Howe of Manx Wildlife Trust for their invaluable expert assistance.