Hampton Court to feature giant dome full of tropical butterflies

An enormous tropical butterfly dome at this year's RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show will let visitors walk among thousands of exotic Indonesian and South American butterflies.

Artist's impression of the Butterfly Dome. Image: Supplied
Artist's impression of the Butterfly Dome. Image: Supplied

On entering the 283m2 dome, supported by Viking Cruises, visitors will be transported into a lush paradise garden featuring tropical planting to re-create the butterflies' natural habitat.

A range of vibrant, colourful species including blue morpho, pale owl, postman and swallowtail butterflies will fly among towering Ficus trees and hibiscus. Feeding stations will give visitors the chance to admire the striking species up close.

Butterfly Conservation's report The State of the UK's Butterflies 2015 (pdf) found that 57 per cent of butterfly species in the UK have declined over the past 40 years. With this in mind, the dome will be surrounded by a wildflower meadow full of native flowers designed to attract British butterflies and other wildlife.

As well as using plants recommended on the RHS Perfect for Pollinators plant list, the meadow will feature plants that caterpillars feed on such as thyme, holly, ivy, honeysuckle, foxgloves and citrus. Pupariums will also let visitors watch as butterflies emerges from their cocoons.

Show manager Dave Green said: "We're really excited that the Butterfly Dome is back at the show this year, it will be a great interactive spectacle and definitely a highlight not to be missed. We hope visitors will leave the show inspired to make their own gardens more wildlife friendly and help halt the decline of Britain's butterfly population."

The RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show runs from 5 – 10 July 2016.

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