Butterfly house in Southsea wows visitors on opening day

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FAMILIES were wowed by beautiful butterflies flying around the city’s new Butterfly House.

The enclosure, part of Cumberland House Natural History Museum in Southsea, was opened on Saturday to the public following its renovation.

Carly Wallis, Penny Bowbrick and Poppy Wallis with an owl butterfly
Pictures: Habibur Rahman

Carly Wallis, Penny Bowbrick and Poppy Wallis with an owl butterfly Pictures: Habibur Rahman

Children watched in awe as the exotic insects flew about, ate fruit and landed on their arms and legs.

Simone Stroili, from Southsea, took her five-year-old daughter Nicole.

Simone said: ‘The Butterfly House is really lovely.

‘I’m from Brazil originally and we have big exotic ones there so it is great to be able to see them in Portsmouth too.

This new one is amazing and we are pleased with how many people have come to see it on its first day of re-opening.

Jane Mee

‘The butterflies are beautiful and Nicole loves them.

‘When we go to the park, she will stand there and try and get them to land on her so she has loved visiting the museum.

‘It’s a brilliant attraction for Southsea.’

Sophie and Rich Jones, from Farlington, agreed. They took their 18-month-old daughter Evie to see the butterflies.

A swallowtail butterfly

A swallowtail butterfly

They liked the fact the museum is free.

Sophie said: ‘It has been really nice walking around and seeing the butterflies.

‘We went to a similar museum up north so when we heard this one was re-opening we wanted to come and see it.’

The Butterfly House was opened by the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Councillor Ken Ellcome following its £130,000 refurbishment.

The original building was built in the 1970s and Jane Mee, museum and visitors services manager, said it was time for a refurbishment.

‘The old butterfly house was past its sell by date,’ she said.

‘We needed something new that was up to the standards of looking after the butterflies.

‘This new one is amazing and we are pleased with how many people have come to see it on its first day of re-opening.

‘We know the butterflies have settled in because they are breeding and laying eggs so it has all gone really well.’

As well as the open space for the butterflies to fly around, there is also a hatching cabinet where the caterpillars become butterflies.

Jane added: ‘People love the life cycle of the butterfly and with the hatching cabinet they can see the chrysalis and then the butterflies emerging.’

The Butterfly House will be open the same as the rest of the museum between 10am and 5.30pm, Tuesday to Sunday. Admission is free.