VILLAGERS in a small County Durham hamlet are hoping they do not become a target for Harry Potter fans after it was chosen as the first day cover for the Royal Mail’s new set of stamps.

The postal service is bringing out a new set of stamps inspired by the world’s most popular boy wizard and has chosen the village of Muggleswick, near Consett, as the postcode for the first day cover.

The village, which is in the North Pennines Area of Natural Beauty, close to County Durham’s border with Northumberland, has just a handful of homes, a village hall, church and a post box but no pubs, shops or other facilities.

Mike Seeley, chairman of Muggleswick Parish Council, said: “We’re a bit surprised. It’s not even in Harry Potter.

“We hope it doesn’t lead to us being inundated with thousands of Chinese tourists lining up to take pictures because we don’t have any infrastructure.”

Potter fans will be disappointed to note the village’s names does not come from the wizarding term for non-magical people, but instead from ‘Mocla’s Wick’, which means the farm belonging to Mocla, a descendant of a Celtic chieftain.

Though author JK Rowling is famed for using unusual place names as the inspiration for some of her characters, it is unlikely Muggleswick played a part in this case.

She has previously said the word muggle came from the word ‘mug’, a term for someone who is easily fooled, with ‘gle’ added to make it less demeaning.

The new set of 15 stamps have been brought out to celebrate the eight films in the Potter franchise.

The set includes some of the series best-loved characters, as they appear in the films, Hogwarts teachers and some of it’s most recognisable features, including the Hogwarts Express, the Triwizard Cup, the Weasley’s flying Ford Anglia, the Knight Bus and Hagrid’s enchanted motorbike.

Characters to feature Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Severus Snape and Remus Lupin.

They also include hidden details, which can only be seen under ultraviolet light.

The Muggleswick first day issue mark includes a golden snitch and Harry Potter logo, as well as the date of the stamps’ first day of being issued.

Philip Parker, from the Royal Mail, said: “The Harry Potter movies continue to thrill and delight audiences of all ages.

“The goal with our stamps is to capture the excitement of the Wizarding world and the heroism of the students of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.”

They go on sale from post offices on October 16.