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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Stratford-upon-Avon Butterfly Farm

Stratford-upon-Avon is not all about Shakespeare. For nature lovers, there is the Stratford Butterfly Farm: a lush green tropical environment with colourful butterflies flying all around. There are also sections dedicated to arachnids and insects. The farm is the largest tropical butterfly display in UK with more than 250 different species of butterfly at any given time. While some butterflies are bred within the farm, some are imported from the tropics. In either case, the farm is doing a good job of conservation.




The main area in the farm is the flight area, where a beautiful lush landscape has been created within the glasshouse. I was amazed to see such a wide range of tropical plants. Notable was the Lantana plant which has very sweet smelling nectar filled flowers. These are a favourite among he butterfly for obvious reasons. The flight area also has a small waterfall and a pond filled with fishes(some very large and some tiny). Left free in this area are also some birds. Though we did not spot any parrots, we did see lots of quails. The quail family seemed to have had recent additions and there were these wee little baby quails walking around on the floor. I was aghast when I noticed some adults trying to get hold of the quails for photographs. Please do not touch/handle the quails and if you have children accompanying you, let them also know that handling these creatures is not only extremely stressful for the quails but can also hurt them.


The butterflies were just amazing. Initially you may be confused where to look as there are so many butterflies around - all shapes, sizes and colours. It was such a lovely feeling to have so many colourful butterflies flying around me, all at the same time. I was wearing bright clothing, so a couple of them landed on me and stayed put for quite some time. So, there's your tip. Wear some colourful clothing and the butterflies might decide to land on you. We spent about an hour and a half in the farm. Though you can cover everything in that time, if you are a nature lover then you can spend half a day in this place without getting bored. We walked through the flight area taking photos and then in the end did another round of the flight area just admiring the plants and butterflies. The paths are narrow at places and can be slippery as well. Sometimes butterflies decide to sit right in the middle of the path, so watch where you step.























Apart from the main flight area, the farm also has:
Caterpillar Room - which houses some of the spikiest and hairiest caterpillars in the world.
Arachnoland - From the dreaded Tarantulas to Imperial Scorpions this section houses some deadly and poisonous creatures.
Insect City - From the humble hard working ants to the desert locusts from Africa, from the spindly Stick Grasshoppers to the Armoured Ground Cricket, this was an interesting section with lots of insects to look at.





The farm is open throughout the year except the Christmas Day. It opens at 10:00am and closes at 5:00pm on most days except in summers when it stays open for an hour more. It is easy to reach the farm as it's a few minutes walk from the town centre. It's definitely worth a visit if you are visiting Stratford-upon-Avon and have an interest in wildlife and nature.

Stratford Butterfly Farm
Swan's Nest Lane,
Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 7LS
Phone: +44(0)1789299288

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