Image courtesy of The Independent
An often overlooked though extremely vulnerable creature - the butterfly - will soon be getting a new lease on life when Butterfly World, the world's largest planned butterfly house, alights in Britain, reports The Independent's Michael McCarthy. Boasting a collection of 10,000 tropical butterflies encompassing close to 250 species, the £25m 300 ft-wide complex - the brainchild of businessman Clive Farrell - will be built near St. Albans, Hertfordshire. Supported by the likes of Sir David Attenborough, Butterfly World plans on opening in stages between June 2009 and March 2011.In Britain, butterfly numbers are estimated to have declined by 75% over the last two decades; according to Clive Farrell, who called butterflies the "canaries in the coal mine," 5 of the country's butterfly species and 60 moth species went extinct during the 20th century.
In addition to its extensive meadows and gardens, the domed complex will include state-of-the-art education and research facilities; Farrell hopes to attract over a million visitors a year once it is completed.