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Butterfly tunnel
Tropical butterflies develop in the humid part of the tunnel but we also display some native, British species
Inside our butterfly tunnel
Take a close look at the underside of leaves and you may see caterpillars

Butterfly tunnel

Come rain or shine, our plant-filled tropical tunnel is a magical place. Spot the butterflies, identify the species and learn about the butterfly lifecycle. 

We have a variety of native and tropical butterflies in the tunnel, featuring species from South America, Africa, the Indian subcontinent, the Philippines and Australasia.

Each pupa is carefully attached to a stick and placed in a humid cabinet until they hatch. They are then released into the flight area. The plants in the tunnel have been selected to encourage egg-laying, so do look out for caterpillars and eggs underneath the leaves!

There's plenty of opportunity to learn all about the lifecycle of butterflies and some fun butterfly facts too!

Butterflies at the Rare Breeds Centre

A small sampling of the butterflies found in our butterfly tunnel

We hope that our butterfly tunnel will educate and inspire you to look for and help conserve moths and butterflies in the wild and your local area.

In July each year, the Butterfly Conservation project conducts the Big Butterfly Count. This is a great way to learn about local native species and identify them. Butterflies are key indicator species which are sensitive to changes in the environment, and have seen a collapse in numbers in Britain during the past three decades.

More than three-quarters of the 60 species found in the British Isles are in decline. For more information you can go to: and

Our butterfly tunnel can get hot and humid in the summer months, it's perfect for the plant life and butterflies to thrive but can sometimes be a little too warm for us.  So remember to pop outside for a cool down if tropical isn't for you. Check out our Children's Barn where everyone of any age is welcome to come and meet and pet the animals.