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Nikki and Jill in 'pole' spot for stamps

PUBLISHED: 11:31 16 April 2010 | UPDATED: 17:04 06 July 2010

AN unusual customer was first in line to collect a new set of stamps from the Lowestoft's main Post Office this week.

With Royal Mail releasing a new series of stamps that highlight endangered British mammals, a Carlton Colville woman and her "adorable" pet ferret were in pole-position to make a first-class purchase.

AN unusual customer was first in line to collect a new set of stamps from the Lowestoft's main Post Office this week.

With Royal Mail releasing a new series of stamps that highlight endangered British mammals, a Carlton Colville woman and her “adorable” pet ferret were in pole-position to make a first-class purchase.

Four-and-a-half year old Jill and her owner Nikki Martin made the trip to town to collect the new set, which include an image of the ferret's wild relation, the polecat, on the first-class stamp.

Mrs Martin, who owns seven ferrets, said: “I'd heard that these commemorative stamps were being issued and I thought it would be a bit of a novelty to bring a ferret with me.”

Having collected ferrets for the past 10 years, Mrs Martin admitted her passion for looking after the “comical” creatures stemmed from a love of polecats and otters.

And with both polecats and otters on the stamps, she said: “They are very, very easy to keep. They do get bad press, but I've never ever had a bite from them.

“They are very sociable, comical, and very, very friendly - I absolutely adore them.”

With her collection of rescued ferrets roaming freely at her Carlton Colville home, Mrs Martin said: “There was a ferret welfare centre in Great Yarmouth, which closed about three years ago, and I took on all of the ferrets from there.

“They have their own pen at home, go outside every day provided the weather is OK, and they're very clean pets.”

With four girls and three boys, Mrs Martin admitted the ferrets “get on well” with each other.

She has also been known in the past to be seen on Lowestoft beach with her pets and also goes to pubs across East Anglia to take part in ferret-racing competitions.

Mammals, issued on April 13 in a block of ten first class stamps, is the fourth issue in the Action for Species series.

All 10 featured mammals are the subject of conservation programmes due to the effect of adverse changes in their environment.

Julietta Edgar, Head of Special Stamps at Royal Mail said: “The Mammals issue is a great example of how special stamps can combine a series of beautiful images, and deliver a powerful conservation message to millions of customers every day.”

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