Sir David Attenborough recently launched Butterfly World, set to become the world’s leading dedicated butterfly centre: a focus for conservation issues, for cutting-edge scientific research and a valuable educational experience for schools, colleges, community groups and families.
Sir David Attenborough, renowned broadcaster and patron of Butterfly World Trust, was recently joined by an impressive line up of familiar faces at the Royal Society for the official unveiling of Butterfly World. This impressive £25 million world-class visitor attraction, will be an active conservation vehicle funding research and community projects.
Project Trustee David Bellamy, actress and Patron Emilia Fox, Patron Baroness Helena Kennedy QC and world butterfly expert Dr Jeremy Thomas are lending their weight to the project, planned near St Albans, in Hertfordshire.
This ultimate butterfly experience will give equal prominence to indigenous and tropical species. It is expected to attract, educate and inspire up to a million visitors, when it is fully operational in 2011.
This will be the world’s biggest walk-through butterfly journey, with over 10,000 tropical species in flight at any one time, creating a kaleidoscope of movement and colour filling the 100 metre biome. Sections of the dome will be submerged to incorporate underground caverns, featuring many tropical creatures including scorpions and spiders. The 26-acre site, created by the the renowned landscape designer Ivan Hicks, will be in the shape of a butterfly, with the dome as its eye. It will restore biodiversity to this low grade agricultural land and turn it into one of the richest wild flower meadows in the UK ñ a perfect habitat for protecting our endangered indigenous butterfly and moth species.
A key aspect of Butterfly World is Future Gardens’. These will be a true showcase for contemporary and sustainable garden design and an annual event spanning from June to September.
Butterfly World is the vision of award-winning Lepidopterist, Clive Farrell. While he could also be described as an entrepreneur, property developer, entomologist and philanthropist, Clive is truly passionate about conservation, specifically that of butterflies.
Clive says: ‘Butterflies are like canaries in the coal mine. When their environment is under stress, they are the first to disappear. During the 20th century, five of our butterfly species and 60 moths became extinct. Drastic butterfly losses are continually being reported as we destroy their natural habitats at a frightening pace.
‘Butterfly World is designed to bring the public into direct contact with some of the most fragile and beautiful wildlife in the world and send out a clarion call on behalf of this endangered treasure.’
According to the London School of Economics, the project will be self-sustaining. Forecast to attract around £123 million in the first five years of operation, it will also help fund other community projects in the area, such as public advice centres, youth groups and crime prevention initiatives.
Contact: Butterfly World
Tel: +44 (0)1442 257722
Sir David Attenborough has been President
of Butterfly Conservation since 1998. Pictured
with Molly Lowin. Photo: © Butterfly World