STRATFORD Butterfly Farm celebrates its 35th birthday today (Friday).
Although the celebrations will be low key compared to what was planned, the gates will be open to welcome visitors back. The attraction reopened on July4 in accordance with government guidelines and social distancing measures.
The popular Swan’s Nest Lane attraction was the brainchild of internationally-renowned lepidopterist Clive Farrell and now retired Gareth Ireland.
Back in the 1980s, Clive had a dream to share his passion for butterflies with the public.
His dream became a reality in July 1985 when Stratford-upon-Avon Butterfly Farm opened its gates to the public. The farm was officially opened by late botanist and naturalist David Bellamy.
He wanted to educate children and adults alike about conservation – butterflies in particular.
And the educating ethos remains the guiding principle even if the farm has seen many changes over the past three decades.
Clive’s fascination with butterflies and nature began when he was five-years-old after finding a hairy caterpillar in his garden.
He put it in a matchbox where it spun a cocoon and watched it emerge as a Tiger Moth. It was a magical moment that stayed with him.
Now 35 years on the farm remains the UK’s largest and most successful butterfly farm.
Marketing manager Jane Kendrick said: “We are thrilled to be celebrating our 35th birthday and look forward to warmly welcoming our visitors who I’m sure will be delighted with all the improvements we have made during lockdown.
“Along with our new Maya display and new look reception, visitors can see and admire around 2,000 free flying individual butterflies along with tropical birds, fish, plants, and other animals.”
New daily capacity limits are in place to ensure social distancing.
Visit www.butterflyfarm.co.uk for further details.