Southsea Butterfly House set to open its doors after works tomorrow

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Janine Andrade,  Siobhan Edwards-Bannon and Zoe Boxhall with the pupils learning about the human skeleton .
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AFTER months of work, Portsmouth’s new tropical butterfly house will finally open its doors tomorrow.

Following the demolition of the old enclosure at Cumberland House natural history museum, the city council got the ball rolling on building a new one at the turn of the year.

The new tropical butterfly house at Cumberland House natural history museum in Southsea

The new tropical butterfly house at Cumberland House natural history museum in Southsea

For many families, seeing the butterflies at the Southsea museum has been a tradition with crowds expected to be busy from this weekend after the completion of the £130,000 project.

The new enclosure will have a range of tropical South American butterflies, hatched on-site from ethically-sourced chrysalises.

Numbers and species are expected to vary, with about 50 hatching each week with the site set to be home to swallowtails, morphos, owl butterflies and longwings.

Councillor Linda Symes, the cabinet member for culture at the council, welcomed the news.

Seeing the butterflies at Cumberland House is a tradition for many local families, and is also part of the experience for visitors to the city

Councillor Linda Symes

She said: ‘It is wonderful to have this new attraction open during the summer.

‘Seeing the butterflies at Cumberland House is a tradition for many local families, and is also part of the experience for visitors to the city.

‘The new building will be a far more suitable home for the butterflies, and a more attractive place to visit.

‘Demolishing the old butterfly house has also opened up the rear of the building, showing how it was intended to look.’

The old building dated back to the 1980s, obscuring the original view of the rear of Cumberland House. Plans to demolish it and replace it were backed by museum goers last year.

Visitors has been offered the opportunity to contribute to the project through an online crowdfunding page that raised £13,167 of its £41,536 target although supporters are only going to be charged if the target is reached by the end of Sunday.

However, the council is looking at ways in which people who have made pledges to donate can still do.

To donate, head to spacehive.com and search ‘butterfly.’