“Birds of the Shetlands” sheetlet from Hildasay, believed to have been issued in 1995 and featuring four stamps: 25p (redshank), 41p (turnstone), 50p (lapwing) and 82p (curlew).
This version features the text and values in a heavyweight font; an alternative version uses a much lighter type.
U/M / Unmounted Mint / MNH / Mint Never Hinged.
Hildasay is a small and (usually) uninhabited island of 108 hectares, just off the west coast of Mainland, Shetland. The island briefly made headlines during the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020 when former paratrooper Chris Lewis was forced to temporarily make his home there during the coronavirus lockdown, after pausing his fundraising challenge to walk the entire UK coastline.
The origin of stamps bearing the island's name is unclear, and we had never come across them until very recently. However - given Hildasay's lack of population - they are almost certainly fantasy issues with no local postal function, despite being attractive and well produced. Several issues depicting local birds and animals, or commemorating Shetland's Up Helly Aa fire festivals, appear to exist, dating from 1995 to 1998.