Future Gardens and Butterfly World – A New Tourist Attraction in St Albans


Butterfly-WorldSt Albans is extremely proud to have the world’s largest butterfly park, which is a £25 m project. Currently known as Future Gardens, it will eventually become Butterfly World.

It consists of 27 acres of land in the green belt area north of the M25 in Chiswell Green, St Albans. There are 12 inspiring gardens which have something for everyone, including The Very Hungry Caterpillar Garden for children. There is the Wildflower Meadows, a tropical butterfly house, a butterfly garden and a café.

Clive Farrell, a lepidopterist (butterfly enthusiast) is the inventor of this project. He has opened butterfly houses in Florida, Switzerland and Stratford-upon-Avon. When finished, the aim is to have 10,000 tropical butterflies of 250 species. These will freely fly under the 300ft-wide, walk through dome.

David Attenborough is concerned about the decline of butterflies in recent years but is delighted that the plants are already flourishing in this new habitat. David Bellamy, the celebrated botanist, is one of the trustees of this project and has already spotted some species of butterflies and bees at the gardens.

One little hiccup to overcome, it seems, is the issue of finding the place! Some signs say Future Gardens and some show a flower. This has caused some complaints but perhaps the stalbanslife readers can let us know how it went for them?

For information on opening times and directions, visit www.butterflyworldproject.com  or email info@butterflyworldproject.com .

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Maria Larmer lives in St Albans and is married with four children. She works as a Freelance Writer, English Language Teacher and Teaching Assistant. She has lived in Auckland, New Zealand for 9 years and prior to that in France, Germany, Austria, Edinburgh, London and Ireland. Her diary-writing has featured on ‘The Wild Geese’ Channel 4 and Radio Verulam. She has written for Hertfordshire Life magazine, Go Camping magazine, Camping magazine, The Catholic Times, St Albans & Harpenden Review, New Zealand Times, The New Beacon, My Weekly and various websites. She can be contacted on maria.larmer@ntlworld.com

  • I think the project is fabulous and am proud to be a small part of it
    I am honoured to be the designated Face painter for butterfly world. I painted at some of the events last year & am due to be again this year….. when I am sure it will be even better than last year. As 2009 was the first year, there were bound to be some teething problems, but the scheme promises to grow & grow, and as the plants become more established the whole area will be a wonderful place for all ages to visit. The prices this year are also much more reasonable and I know many people who intend to go , some of whom went last lear.

  • jay tapster

    The large unkempt roundabout by The Noke and the Shell Garage would be a fantastic landmark for Butterfly World and sponsored by these two companies. I envisage a large eye-catching silver filigree butterfly. Last year’s road signage was amateurish and not encouraging.

  • Hitesh Gohil

    I was sad to find out that it closed in Oct 2009.
    I went with my son In the summer of 2009 and have some fantastic pictures of the gardens and butterflies.
    I will miss the place. I hope they manage to get funding to get it up and running again.

  • Kathy Melonie

    We went to Butterfly World last year and thought it was great especially the butterflies they were beautiful and how lovely when they land on you. We will be visiting again this year as we are interested to see how the project is progressing and can not wait till the last stage next year goes. We did think it was quite expensive last year considering it was not finished but still enjoyed it very much. Its such a lovely attraction for St Albans although it is not advertised that much as some people we talk to do not know about it.

  • Gloria

    I am planning to visit Butterfly World in Chiswell Green today and I wanted to find out the cost. As suggested on your webpage, I went to the Future Gardens website which is not very user friendly. There is no mention of Butterfly World and they do not even have a home page. Why are they advertising financial services??

  • Maria

    Hi Gloria

    Thank you for bringing this to our attention. The website is now http://www.butterflyworldproject.com and hopefully you will find it userfriendly! Let us know how you find it.


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  • Emily harris

    It is a butterfly experience my family loves it and school If i had a choice of going anywhere or butterfly park i would go to butterfly park