Butterfly World campaign gains support from Bishop of St Albans

PUBLISHED: 13:19 19 July 2016 | UPDATED: 13:19 19 July 2016

Butterfly World's gates

Butterfly World's gates

Archant

Campaigners pushing for the re-opening of a St Albans tourist attraction and conservation project have set up a charity in its aid.

Local group Save Butterfly World has recently had its application to register ‘Butterfly World 2.0’ approved by the Charity Commission.

The approval comes days after the Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Rev Dr Alan Smith, signalled his support to have Butterfly World re-opened in Chiswell Green.

The Breheny Group, which owns the project, announced in early December that the 2015 season would be the sanctuary’s last, because of a succession of trading losses.

Its sudden closure prompted supporters to band together to see if they could try and save the popular attraction – a major one in St Albans.

The Bishop said he was pleased to hear there were plans afoot to try and reopen Butterfly World “because of its importance as a conservation project [and] also it is an excellent project for St Albans and the surrounding areas.

“In my view this is just the sort of project which adds a huge benefit to the locality and can be a first class educational project for schools.”

Save Butterfly World chairman John Horsfield told the Herts Advertiser that he was surprised at the speed in which the Charity Commission approved the group’s application, adding, “I was surprised it was registered in just 18 days, as it can take up to 14 weeks.

“We take this as a very good omen.”

The group was also cheered to hear that a colony of Small Blue (Cupido minimus) butterflies at the sanctuary had spread to an adjoining site.

The native species was considered extinct in Herts and Middlesex for many years.

John said: “Butterfly World is home to the largest colony of [these] butterflies in the region, and the arrival was a direct result of providing a suitable habitat, including caterpillar food plant and sheltered areas.”

John can be contacted via contact@savebutterflyworld.com, or write to Save Butterfly World, 25 Valley Rise, Watford, WD25 7EY.

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