We will withdraw legal tender status of the paper £10 note featuring Charles Darwin at 23:59 on Thursday 1 March. We are encouraging anyone who still has any to use them in the next week. Over 73% of £10 notes in circulation are polymer, but there are still around 211 million paper £10 notes left in circulation. Put end to end, that’s enough notes to retrace almost half of Darwin’s journey on HMS Beagle. Or, these would weigh the same as nearly two thousand giant Galápagos tortoises that Darwin saw on his travels.
After 1 March 2018, the new polymer note featuring Jane Austen will be the only £10 note with legal tender status. Some banks and building societies may accept paper £10 notes after 1 March but this is at their own discretion. Most retailers will no longer accept the paper £10 note as payment. The Bank of England will continue to exchange Darwin £10 notes for all time, as it would for any other Bank of England note which no longer has legal tender status.