Stamps – I never really got the point of stamp collecting, at least not just your bog-standard penny blacks and the like. But some of them are gorgeous and I reckon I could be tempted to engaged in a little philately  (is that right?) where animals and plants are concerned … and then, what comes along but the perfect vehicle for the budding philatelist … a hedgehog stamp!

Out in March, the Royal Mail is celebrating UK mammals. And while the set contains such diversions as a bat, otter, water vole, and dormouse, by far the most significant contribution comes in the form of a hedgehog.

Now you might think I would obviously say that – pure hyperbole – but I base my praise of the hedgehog stamp in sound economics. The British Hedgehog Preservation Society has teamed up with the UK’s leading producer of first day covers to make an official hedgehog first day cover – and there is more …

Not just the first day cover, but a BHPS postmark …

And not just that either, a limited number are personally signed by BHPS patron (tv personality, adventurer, writer and every-bloody-ones favourite) Ben Fogle … what is it about Ben Fogle … at a BHPS trustees meeting there is pretty much a minutes silence of quivering reverence when we acknowledge the £449 he raised for doing a little run – yet not even the remotest hint of a quiver when I point out I raised £423 getting a hedgehog tattoo.

Where was I … so, not only can you buy hedgehog first day covers, but you can also buy ones touched by the soon to be beatified Ben (but it will cost you an additional £10).

If you are so moved to join in the collective Ben and hedgehog worship, please order through the link on the BHPS website – this will ensure that 40% of every sale goes straight to the society. The covers cost £11.95 unsigned or £22.95 with the possibility that a drop of Ben’s sweat might just have evaporated on the stamp.

You can also call Buckingham Covers direct on 01303 278 137 stating you would like 40% of the sale price to come to the Society.