AN ENDANGERED reptile now thriving in Dorset is among the species of wildlife celebrated in a new set of stamps.

The six stamps from the Royal Mail celebrate the reintroduction of flora and fauna previously extinct or endangered in the UK.

The stamps feature original illustrations by award-winning Wiltshire artist Tanya Achilleos Lock and show the Eurasian Beaver; Pool Frog; Sand Lizard; Large Blue Butterfly; Osprey and Stinking Hawks-beard.

It is estimated that more than 400 species of animals and plants that have become extinct over the past two centuries in the UK.

However, conservationists have successfully reintroduced various species across the country.

This includes the Sand Lizard which used to live in sandy lowland heaths. However over the last century 80 per cent of these warm, dry, heather-covered areas have been lost, which resulted in colonies of this species becoming isolated, vulnerable and fewer in number. Fortunately, with more than 70 successful reintroductions of over 9,000 lizards, captive breeding has helped to end their decline. They now live in protected heathland sites including around Purbeck.

Royal Mail spokesman Philip Parker said: “Our beautiful new stamps mark the skill and expertise of conservationists in reintroducing species back to their former environments.”

The stamps can be pre-ordered from today and available from post offices from April 17.