Butterflies Fly High in New Griffin Glasshouse

Butterfly house in Portsmouth Hampshire

There has been a real sense of excitement around Cumberland House Natural History Museum in Portsmouth.  Visitors now flock to experience flying gems in the new Butterfly House.

The Goal

“The old Butterfly House was beyond repair and no longer fit for purpose,” explains Chris Richards at Portsmouth Council. “The decision was taken to demolish it and replace it with a brand new, state-of-the-art structure that will improve the butterflies’ habitat and make it an even more enjoyable place to visit. Griffin Glasshouses was the perfect partner for this project. Having an exemplary track record, the company demonstrated a solid partnership approach and a broad engineering focus.”

The Butterflies

The tropical butterflies include:

  • Swallowtails
  • Morphos
  • Caligos
  • Longwings

We had to clad the whole structure internally with special aphid netting to the inside face of all the glass and openings. This was to:

  • prevent the butterflies from getting out through the open vents
  • stop predators or other pests which could bring disease into the glasshouse
  • prevent the butterflies from sticking to damp glass when there is condensation on it

The Solution

They arrive as pupae and hatch in the puparium within the glasshouse. We designed the planting in the Butterfly House specifically for the temperature and humidity levels the butterflies need. It features varieties that are attractive to them, including: 

  • phalaenopsis orchids
  • jasmine
  • banana plants
  • lemon trees
  • lantana
  • swiss cheese plants

“There is also a small water feature to provide moisture and maintain humidity,” adds Chris.

Portsmouth City Council funded the entire capital cost of the new Butterfly House. Grants from Tesco, Waitrose and Fyffes together with fundraising activities helped to contribute to the costs of the internal features.

“The council and the residents of and visitors to Portsmouth are all delighted with the new Butterfly House.  The old house had always been popular but everyone is singing the praises of the new facility as ‘ten times better’ – to quote an eight-year-old regular!” enthuses Chris.


Posted by Linda in Customers, Design, News