Butterfly World, Hertfordshire

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Butterfly World Project
Date opened 2009
Date closed 2015
Location Chiswell Green, St Albans, England
Coordinates 51°43′37″N 00°22′07″W / 51.72694°N 0.36861°W / 51.72694; -0.36861Coordinates: 51°43′37″N 00°22′07″W / 51.72694°N 0.36861°W / 51.72694; -0.36861
Land area 27 acres (11 ha)
Memberships Butterfly World Trust
Major exhibits Tropical Butterfly House, Ant World, Insect Study
Website Butterfly World Project

The Butterfly World Project was a developing visitor attraction in the village of Chiswell Green, on the outskirts of St Albans in Hertfordshire, UK, dedicated to showcasing and promoting learning about butterflies.


The project was started by lepidopterist Clive Farrell, and was launched in 2008 at the Royal Society in London.[1] Farrell secured a number of high-profile patrons for the scheme, including naturalists Sir David Attenborough and Professor David Bellamy, gardener and broadcaster Alan Titchmarsh, actress Emilia Fox, and barrister and politician Baroness Helena Kennedy.[2]

The site at Chiswell Green is adjacent to the Gardens of the Rose and construction has been underway since 2009. Four phases of development are planned. Terra Firma landscape architects worked with client Clive Farrell, artist and garden designer Ivan Hicks and Chrysalis Architects on the project masterplan and detailed proposals.[3]


The Butterfly World site has been open to the public since spring 2009.

Phase I[edit]

The site comprised a butterfly-shaped chalk garden, wildflower meadows designed to provide a habitat for butterflies, a shop, cafe and plant boutique.

Phase II[edit]

In phase 2, a breeding centre was opened, together with an artificial lake in the shape of a chrysalis, a study centre, picnic areas and a children's play area. The cafe and visitor centre was also enlarged and upgraded. 250,000 sunflowers were planted in the field that will eventually host the rainforest biome.

Phase III[edit]

Plans for the third phase of development included the opening of a leafcutter ant exhibition, as well as expansion of the children's play area and a redevelopment of the butterfly house and designer gardens.

Phase IV[edit]

The final phase of development will see the construction of a 100-metre-wide rainforest biome, which will provide a habitat for butterflies as well as hummingbirds, insects, spiders and tropical plants. The biome will include a public walkway, caves and watercourses to explore.

Closure and the campaign to save Butterfly World[edit]

On 14 December 2015 the current owners Breheny Construction announced that the project would close permanently.[4]

Within hours efforts to save the project had started and two internet petitions had been launched. The major one has now attracted over 53,000 signatures from across the globe.

On 10 January 2016 the Save Butterfly World campaign was launched.[5] It has since obtained charitable status and seeks to continue the work of the project going forward.


  1. ^ "The Story of Butterfly World". Butterfly World Project. Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  2. ^ "Patrons". Butterfly World Project. Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  3. ^ "Butterfly World". Terra Firma. Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  4. ^ "Butterfly World to Close". Butterfly World. Retrieved 15 December 2015. 
  5. ^ "Save Butterfly World". Save Butterfly World. Retrieved 4 September 2016.