There is plenty on offer for all ages at Stratford-upon-Avon Butterfly Farm during the half term from 24 May – 2 June. Back in residence is the Orb Web Spider, also known as Nephilia inaurata. Unusually this spider is not displayed behind the safety of glass but can be found in a hoop suspended from the ceiling of Minibeast Metropolis. Visitors need not be alarmed as the spider is kept behind a protective barrier and will not leave its hoop!
Orb Web Spiders make the classic orb webs frequently seen in gardens, fields and forests. Their wheel-shaped webs consist of concentric circles with spokes radiating out from the centre and can measure a metre wide – plenty of space to trap hapless insects in the sticky silk that is so strong it can even catch birds and bats. The female’s leg span can also reach 10cm, whereas the males will only span 2.5cm!
All visitors will receive a complimentary marble heart when they visit on Monday 26 May. In return, the Butterfly Farm is urging visitors and their families to get involved with the Year of Green Action and make a green action pledge to connect with nature. Pledges to do something positive to help protect our environment can be written and hung in the Discovery Zone.
On 8 & 9 June Stratford Butterfly Farm will be celebrating World Swallowtail Day with interactive demonstrations in the Discovery Zone, held twice daily. The Education Team will be highlighting these amazing species of butterfly and how we can help save and protect them for future generations. Special guest and swallowtail/birdwing expert Charles Dewhurst will be joining the team on 8 June.
Children and adults can also take part in the popular Meet the Mini-Beast handling sessions held daily at 11.30am and 2.30pm and hold creatures such as a giant African Millipede, African land snail, Stick Insects and even a Madagascan hissing cockroach!
For visitors wanting to enjoy a range of hot drinks, milkshakes and snacks, the Koffee Kart is open for service in the front wildflower garden. It will be open at weekends, bank holidays and throughout the school holidays from 10am – 4pm (weather dependent).
Jane Kendrick, Marketing Manager at Stratford Butterfly Farm said “We have so much going on over the half term. Our marble hearts are a lovely keepsake and we want to encourage everyone that visits on the bank holiday Monday to make a pledge and do something positive. Visitors can download an information pack from our website for ideas and information on how to create the perfect nature garden to attract wildlife and make it look beautiful”.
To see hundreds of spectacular butterflies, insects, reptiles and spiders visit the Butterfly Farm from 10am to 6:00pm, last entry 5:30pm. Open every day of the week except Christmas Day. For more information, including admission prices and group rates, see www.butterflyfarm.co.uk or call 01789 299288. For information on how to create the wildflower garden see www.butterflyfarm.co.uk/attraction/our-displays/the-wildflower-garden