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Royal Bank of Scotland £50 note

TB have once again joined forces with the best in Scottish design and provided illustrations for the new £50 notes for Royal Bank of Scotland, to complete the family of notes entitled 'The Fabric of Nature'.

With the previous notes in the series representing Scotland's seas (mackerel), waterways (otters) and woodland (squirrels), this note took inspiration from the skies. The front of the note shows Flora Stevenson, Scottish social education reformer. The reverse of the note depicts a pair of osprey's in flight, with illustration by TB director Alistair McAuley.

A true Scottish success story, ospreys were hunted to extinction in 1916, so their disappearance from Scotland was entirely due to human impact. However, when two Scandinavian ospreys retuned in 1950 it was the people who defended them and ensured ospreys came back as a breeding species. Volunteers from all over the UK and all walks of life, led by Scotsman George Waterston, carried out a 24/7 watch on the birds to ensure the eggs were not stolen. These dedicated pioneers have resulted not only in 300 breeding osprey pairs in the UK, but dramatic changes in nature conservation worldwide.

We worked once again with our friends at O Street, who handled creative and graphic design, Jeni Lennox at design consultancy Nile and Stuart Kerr at Stuco Design, while De La Rue took charge of specialty printing and photography. 

An excerpt from ‘Nettles’ by Neil Munro, written in Scottish Secretary hand calligraphy by Susie Leiper, sits between the two ospreys, reading in Gaelic and appearing in English under UV light. A fish in the talons of one bird ties this note back to the first in the family- the £5 note depicting mackerel.

To read in more detail about the other notes in the series, click here.

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