100,000 exotic types find successor to Syon Park
JUST a few months after being evicted from their London home, butterflies are on the comeback trail, with a hundred of thousand of the variously-coloured insects set to be housed in a huge biodome near St Albans.
That's the plan unveiled yesterday for Butterfly World, a monster successor to the Syon Park Butterfly House, which closed last year. To get some handle on the scale of the venture, Syon Park's Kew Gardens-style greenhouse was home to around one thousand exotic butterflies.
The biodome will look something like those at Cornwall's environmental theme park, the Eden Project, and will become the world's biggest butterfly house when it opens for business in 2011. The UKP25 million scheme aims to bring in one million visitors every year.
"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,” said Clive Farrell, the man behind both Butterfly World and the Syon Park butterfly house.
Farrell revealed that the jungle-like interior of the biodome will be scattered with imitation Mayan sculptures and architecture, introducing a mythical aspect that it is hoped will be exciting for children.
Although the biodome, home to exotic butterflies, is the centrepiece of the plan, Butterfly World is also to feature surrounding meadows designed to attract British species, many of which have seen a drastic decline in numbers in recent years.