Butterfly House – Victoria Park
The Butterfly House is in the glasshouses at Victoria Park, which is a local authority run facility; it closed some years ago due to difficult decisions about the allocation of council resources. In 2014 VPET raised the funding to open it for the Summer season; we did the same again this year, but the majority of the funding came from grant funders who will not repeat fund. The council offers in-kind support for heating and some staffing, but we need to secure funding to purchase the butterflies and associated practical and educational resources. One weekly supply of pupae costs around £150,and this needs to be replicated x 14 weeks. So the butterflies alone cost around £2000. Our group is run entirely by volunteers and without this funding the Butterfly House will not be able to open again in 2016. Entry to the Butterfly House and activities are free. In 2014 we received around 10,000 visitors over the season and we are already receiving around 200 visitors per afternoon this season.
What we’ll do:
- purchase a weekly supply of butterflies
- purcahse educational and practical resources to care for the butterflies
- bring in specialists where necessary to deliver sessions, e.g. photography skills
Why it’s a great idea:
The re-opening of the Butterfly House in 2014 was a pilot to see if it was popular and operational. – it proved extremely popular, with around 10,000 visitors through the doors between June and September. Many positive comments were received about this unique local venture. It was particularly popular with families with young children who were able to see first hand the full life cycle of the butterfly as they emerge from the pupae and tale their first flight. The butterflies are world and tropical species and are amazing to see. We also try to raise awareness of the plight of British butterflies by giving out information, encouraging visitors to grow wildlife friendly plants to encourage butterflies to their gardens. Without the funding to purchase the butterflies we will not be able to open for the 2016 season.
How we’ll get it done:
- get the butterfly house ready in Spring 2016
- start to puchase pupae a few weeks before opening
- set up volunteer rota to staff the Butterfly House June to Sept 2016