Volunteer gardeners ask Butterfly World owners if they can maintain sanctuary

21:30 21 January 2016

Butterfly World

Butterfly World

Archant

Volunteer gardeners have offered to continue doing basic maintenance at the closed St Albans sanctuary Butterfly World to prevent it returning to a wild state.

Sue and John Marshall, members of the recently formed Save Butterfly World group, have spent almost every Saturday as volunteer gardeners at the sanctuary since 2012.

The couple said: “We joined as annual members after it opened [in 2009] and because we loved it so much, when we retired we decided to do volunteer gardening.

“There is a lot of upkeep, and because there was minimal staff doing the work, we became part of a group of about 10 volunteers on Saturdays.”

Sue said: “It has been very therapeutic – it gives you time out, among nature, and the butterflies in the area give you a feeling of peace.

“Also, seeing the faces of children seeing butterflies in the wild for the first time is so lovely.”

The couple said they were keen to return to maintain the spectacular gardens and wildflower meadow areas to “encourage new growth and flowering of the plants, which would provide food for the native butterflies during the coming season.

“We have yet to receive a reply to this offer [from the owners, Breheny Group].

“Normally, during the winter months volunteer gardeners are kept busy pruning, weeding, planting etc to maintain existing gardens and re-modelling some with the guidance of staff gardeners.”

When Butterfly World opened, it was a bare patch of earth with no resident butterflies – within just five years 28 different British species were recorded there.

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