Garden is going big on bugs

Our brand new Butterfly House at the National Botanic Garden of Wales is now open bringing the exotic wonder of the tropics to Carmarthenshire.

It is the first big, new attraction at the Garden for several years and is part of a plan to appeal to a wider audience. Already this summer, the Garden has opened a new £50,000 play park – complete with zipline and trampoline – a straw bale maze, water-zorbing pool and is promising 100 days of family activities.

And here’s the BBC Wales take on the Grand Opening of Plas Pilipala on Monday July 25th.

As well as being a big attraction, the new Butterfly House also underpins the scientific research work the Garden is doing with bees, pollen, honey, hoverflies, moths and other pollinators.

Head of Marketing David Hardy said: “The world has woken up to the importance of bees but bees are only part of the pollination picture. As well as being a place of awe and wonder, this new attraction will help raise awareness of other pollinators.

“Without pollinators there is no chocolate, there is no coffee – it is that important!”

Another vital message will be what we can all do in our own backyards to be more ‘pollinator friendly’.

The Garden’s Head of Science Dr Natasha de Vere said: “We can all help the pollinators in our gardens. We can grow flowers that will attract different pollinating insects, from bees to hoverflies, butterflies to moths. We also have to learn to garden a little less tidily. Long grass, nettles, dandelions and brambles provide important food and habitats for our pollinators, as are hedgerows and native woodland. So, if you are going to mow the lawn, leave some areas long; let some dandelions flower and leave some nettles (in a sunny patch!). Most of all: don’t use insecticides. Instead, encourage native pest control like birds, frogs and toads.”

“Our new Butterfly House is an exciting and fun way to spread the word.”

The new attraction – which is in the Tropical House, designed by US-based and Wales-born architect John Belle, in the unique and historic Double Walled Garden – will feature amazing tropical butterfly species from all over the world. But there will also be strong focus on native species, which can be found in abundance in the walled garden.

Combined with the nearby Bee Garden, this area is already being called the “Pollinator Park”.

The Garden is open from 10am to 6pm seven days a week, with last entry at 5pm.

Entry is FREE for Garden members and parking is FREE for all.

For more information about this or other events, call 01558 667149 or email