Flora feature in £5 and £10 notes in place of traditional portraits
Their vertical design is not the only unusual thing about Ulster Bank’s new bank notes that will be brought into circulation early next year.
In place of portraits, the front of the Ulster Bank £5 and £10 notes will feature a range of flora that play a central part in the local landscape.
Fuschia takes pride of place on the smaller denominated note, in place of what would traditionally have been a portrait, whilst the Guelder Rose takes the same prominent position in the £10 version.
Fuschia can be found widely in hedgerows such as Hawthorn and Blackthorn, which provide the ‘scaffolding’ that allow it to grow.
The Guelder Rose, which is not actually a rose, is prominent in the local countryside, helping support insects in the spring, with its mostly-white flowers, and small birds in Autumn and Winter with the production of bright red bunches of berries.
Jeni Lennox, designer with Nile, an agency that advised on the notes, says: “It was certainly a different approach to feature flora rather than portraits, which would traditionally have been found on bank notes. Each note features an example of the plants that can found in Northern Ireland’s hedgerows which are the natural dividers in the countryside, creating wildlife corridors that crisscross thousands of miles of field boundaries. Taking the place of portraits, they have a common appeal which focusing on one individual might not.”
“The hedgerows found in Northern Ireland’s countryside are perhaps often taken for granted, but they are an extremely important natural resource, supporting bio-diversity by providing shelter for a wider range of insects, birds and animals and often containing a rich mix of plant species,” she adds.
The notes, which will come into circulation in early 2019, also showcase some of Northern Ireland’s key loughs in a clear window at the top, with Strangford featuring on the £5 note and Lower Lough Erne featuring on the £10 note.
The first mainline vertical bank notes in the UK and Ireland, they were designed through a great collaboration between the bank, a team of local creatives, graphic designers O Street, the printer De La Rue, and people from Northern Ireland.
The designs were revealed at an event in Belfast before the summer and the bank is getting ready to bring them into circulation in around six months.
They are based on the theme ‘Living in Nature’ and were developed with a panel of experts, which included botanists, geologists, creatives, business people, academics, and others.
The £5 note focuses on Northern Ireland as a place that people pass through and visit, highlighting the importance of the sea and migration.
The £10 note focuses on Northern Ireland as a place of growth, both in terms of agriculture and heritage.
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