£120m boost from butterfly visitors

PUBLISHED: 11:02 20 March 2008 | UPDATED: 13:05 06 May 2010

 Pic shows David Bellamy with Molly Lowin

Pic shows David Bellamy with Molly Lowin

THE Butterfly World project at Chiswell Green is expected to bring more than £120 million to the St Albans district over a five-year period as well as creating hundreds of jobs. At the launch of the scheme at Sopwell House Hotel last Friday, conservationi

A model of the rain-forest biome

THE Butterfly World project at Chiswell Green is expected to bring more than £120 million to the St Albans district over a five-year period as well as creating hundreds of jobs.

At the launch of the scheme at Sopwell House Hotel last Friday, conservationist professor David Bellamy calculated that 40 per cent of the one million annual visitors to the site would be children. Butterfly World would be the largest project of its type on earth and would help to combat the destruction of butterflies which were being wiped out by pesticides, herbicides and artificial fertiliser.

The man behind the project, Clive Farrell, said it would incorporate everything he had learned about butterflies over the years. He described how the project would have a giant climate-controlled dome housing a tropical rainforest with Mayan ruins, jungle canopy walkways and 10,000 butterflies. On the ground there would be insects including scorpions and giant spiders.

The first part of Butterfly World, which is being built in Chiswell Green Lane on land which once belonged to the Royal National Rose Society, will be the Future Gardens which are expected to open in June next year.

Future Gardens will have a feature garden as well as 12 individually-designed gardens with sustainability at the core of the enterprise. One idea for a garden is to "shrink" visitors so that they can enter through a flower pot and see the garden from an insect's perspective.

The main part of the project including the butterfly biome is expected to be ready by 2010.

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CountryPhile

I should probably have taken the hint! Walking out into the garden recently an unprecedented flock of thirty or more crows raucously greeted me from the treetops at the bottom of my garden. Cawing and croaking these big, black birds clung clumsily to the top most branches and twigs, jostling and flapping to stay balanced in a constant flurry of feathers. There is always something ominous about crows – they are after all carrion crows, the vultures of the bird world – always watching for scraps and weakness that might mean their next meal.

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