National Insect Week returns in 2020
Sunday, June 17, 2018 - 10:30 to 17:00
The Butterfly House is located within the old walled kitchen garden at Berkeley Castle, adjacent to the Yurt Restaurant.
In the region of 42 exotic species, from as far afield as Japan and Indonesia, fly freely in a tranquil tropical oasis and it is a wonderful opportunity to see rare species in beautiful surroundings. Species include the South American Blue Morpho, Glasswing, Hecales Longwing, Small Postman and the Owl Butterfly; as well as the Clipper, Mormons, Swallowtails, Lacewing & Tree Nymph all from South Asia.
The house is also home to the world's largest moth – the Atlas Moth!
Visitors can observe their life cycle close quarters through the display of caterpillars and chrysalises.
At the start of the season pupae of the different species are brought in, and butterflies are hatched in the nursery. Once hatched, they are able to breed freely in the idyllic surroundings, which are created by the tropical temperature and their preferred food sources.
Speciality plants are grown on site, some from all over the world.
The team spend many hours every day ensuring that the correct temperature and environment is maintained to ensure the optimum flying, feeding and breeding conditions for the butterflies.
Insects and pests damaging to the plants are kept at bay by the resident Chinese painted quail and diamond doves, who patrol the Butterfly House, organically controlling the bugs.
As the season progresses the number of butterflies soars – creating the most spectacular visual experience, as the Butterfly House teems with hundreds of tropical butterflies.
Visitors can learn about the life cycle of these beautiful creatures, as staff are always on hand to answer questions and to explain about the balance of nature created in this oasis on the Berkeley Estate.
Visitors can come to the Butterfly House as often as they like without visiting the Castle to see how it changes throughout the season.
The Butterfly House shop is also open to non-visitors on open days and stocks many butterfly themed collectibles, and children’s gifts, as well ice-creams and various plants.