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Images that stick; Beauty of Wales captured on stamps.

Byline: HYWEL TREWYN

WALES' breathtaking landscapes take centre stage today with a new series of stamps.

Royal Mail's Beauty of Wales stamps is the third leg of its British Journey series,following Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Stunning locations include Barmouth Bridge in Snowdonia National Park and Rhewl in the Dee Valley.

Other beauty spots featured are Plynlimon and the Brecon Beacons in mid and South Wales,plus the Rhondda Valley in South Wales and Marloes Sands in Pembrokeshire.

However, a row over the stamps was continuing yesterday after Plaid Cymru accused Royal Mail of snubbing Wales.

Members now plan to picket a London launch of the stamps by Welsh Secretary Peter Hain.

The party's London branch claims Royal Mail should launch the stamps in Wales and they do not properly commemorate the 600th anniversary of Owain Glyndaer's Parliament.

National Assembly presiding officer and Plaid Cymru AM for Meirionnydd Nant Conwy, Lord Dafydd Elis Thomas, was to launch the stamps in Cardiff today, but he will now be attending the funeral of former Llanrwst councillor Dafydd Parry-Jones, who died while canvassing last week.

Lord Elis Thomas' place will be filled by Assembly deputy presiding officer Dr John Marek.

Dr Marek, said: ``I am delighted to see the Beauty of Wales celebrated and promoted in this way. The artistic quality of the stamps is very high and does justice to the natural beauty of our country.

``It is very pleasing to think that these stamps will be carrying images of Wales to all corners of the globe. It is a wonderful way to promote Wales in the rest of the UK and beyond.''

Royal Mail says it did not promise to mark Owain Glyndaer's anniversary.

Designers James Phelan and Lissa Barker have featured the wild river valley of Hyddgen high up in the Cambrian Mountains on the first class stamp.

This was the setting for one of Owain Glyndaer's greatest military victories in his battle for Welsh independence when in the summer of 1401, his 120-strong troop of volunteers mounted on Welsh mountain ponies,met and defeated a professional English and Flemish army reputedly of over 1,500 men.

The longest place name in Britain also features on the first day cover of the stamps. Collectors who hand in or post covers at main Post Office branches will receive the pictorial Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgo gerychwyrndrobwllllantysilio gogogoch first day postmark.

CAPTION(S):

Two of the commemorative stamps celebrating Welsh landscapes,part of a Royal Mail series that is being launched today -in London,much to the consternation of Plaid Cymru
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jun 15, 2004
Words:425
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