With Valentine’s Day only a few weeks away, Stratford Butterfly Farm is gearing up to welcome visitors who wish to propose at what is one of the most romantic settings in the region. Over the years many have chosen the exotic environment of tropical blossom with waterfalls and fish-filled pools to pop the question! As well as newly engaged visitors, anyone who visits the Butterfly Farm over half term from 19 – 27 February will receive a beautiful complimentary marble heart to either keep or give to a loved one. In return the Farm asks that visitors pledge their love to the environment by making a green action promise. Pledges to do something positive to help protect the environment can be actioned at home, school or at work.
Over half term on display in the Discovery Zone is a Jungle Nymph Heteropteryx dilatata which originates from the rainforests of Malaysia. The Jungle Nymph is the heaviest of all Stick Insects weighing approximately 80 grams, with the female being larger than the male. Females are leaf green and have a set of wings but are too heavy to fly, whilst males are brown with functional wings so they can fly to find females. Instead of fleeing predators they deter them by displaying aggression. They rustle their wings to produce a noise and show the thorns on the inside of their hind legs.
Also on display is a Malaysian Shield Mantis Rhombodera basalis which commonly live in trees and bushes and feed on other insects. They are known for their enlarged neck that looks like a shield and can grow up to 10cm. When threatened they produce a hissing sound that is produced by air being pumped out from their abdomen!
Jane Kendrick, Marketing Manager at Stratford Butterfly Farm said “We love to see couples propose to each other in our romantic setting and after the last two years of restrictions, we hope to see even more pop the question on Valentine’s Day! Our marble hearts are a lovely keepsake, and we hope that everyone that visits will make a pledge to do something positive for our environment”.