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Buckfast Butterfly Farm

butterfly at the butterfly farm in buckfast

Flutter Through a Tropical Paradise at Buckfast Butterfly Farm

Get ready to wander through the wonderful world of butterflies and beyond at Buckfast Butterfly Farm just outside Totnes. This tropical oasis is home to thousands of exotic butterfly species as well as giant stick insects, leafcutter ants, spiders and curious creatures from across the globe.

Meandering down the pathways with vibrant butterflies fluttering all around is a magical experience for all ages. Here’s a complete guide to a fascinating day discovering the marvellous mini-beasts of Buckfast Butterfly Farm.

indoor at Buckfast Butterfly Farm and Dart Otter Sanctuary

Getting There

Buckfast Butterfly Farm is conveniently located just off the A38, around 5 miles from both Totnes and Plymouth. It sits on the outskirts of Buckfastleigh village. Well signed from the A38, there is a free car park for visitors.

By Car

Simply leave the A38 at the Buckfastleigh turn off and follow signs through the village high street to the easily spotted butterfly domes.

By Bus

You can also catch the number 6 bus from Totnes or Plymouth which stops in Buckfastleigh village, leaving a short 5 minute walk to the entrance.

Opening Times and Prices

Buckfast Butterfly Farm is open daily from 10am – 5pm all year round except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Last admission is at 4pm.

Entry prices are:

  • Adults £10.95
  • Children £7.95
  • Seniors £9.95
  • Under 4s Free
  • Family £30

Book online to save up to 25% on gate prices. Annual passes are available for local families.

buckfast butterfly

The Butterfly Experience

Stepping inside the giant climate-controlled biomes, you’ll be amazed at the sheer number of exotic butterflies filling the air all around you. Hundreds of species from continents across the globe fly freely throughout the tropical habitat. Armed with an identification guide and map, you can spot varieties including:

  • Owl and birdwing butterflies – Amongst the world’s largest with huge wing spans.
  • Electric blue morphos – Shimmering bright blue flashes stand out as they flutter.
  • Camouflaged species like the owl butterfly – Actually spotting them is a fun challenge!

Let your gaze follow these delicate winged creatures dancing through the air as you wander through the steamy jungle pathways.

Getting Hands On

In addition to observation opportunities, the Butterfly Farm lets you get hands-on:

  • Feeding time allows you to carefully let butterflies feed from your hand as they sip nectar.
  • Experience the pupae hatching room where new butterflies emerge.
  • Chat with keepers and biologists caring for the residents.
  • Kids can earn stickers spotting different butterflies around the domes.
  • Handling opportunities let you touch creatures like chameleons, frogs and giant snails.

It creates a multi-sensory learning environment about butterflies and mini-beasts.

Outdoor Gardens

When you need some fresh air, head to the Botanical Gardens surrounding the biomes where butterflies also roam freely amongst seasonal blooms and Buddleia bushes. Let the kids run wild and refuel with packed lunches on the spacious lawns.

The Gardens showcase butterfly-friendly plants alongside beehives allowing kids to appreciate interconnected ecosystems supporting pollinators. Follow the nature trail to spot different species.

buckfast butterfly walkway

Butterfly Types

How much do you know about the different types of butterflies? The world of butterflies is teeming with diversity, with approximately 20,000 known species globally. Many of them are at the Buckfast Butterfly Farm.

  1. Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus): Monarchs are renowned for their striking orange and black patterns. They are famous for their extraordinary migrations across North America, with millions of butterflies traveling thousands of miles to their wintering grounds in Mexico.
  2. Swallowtail Butterflies: This group includes various species, such as the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail and the Black Swallowtail. They are known for their distinctive tails and vibrant colors. Many swallowtails are found in North America and Europe.
  3. Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui): Painted ladies are one of the most widespread butterflies globally. They have an intricate, mottled appearance and are known for their long-distance migrations.
  4. Cabbage White Butterfly (Pieris rapae): These small, white butterflies are common in gardens and agricultural areas. They are known for their caterpillars, which feed on brassica plants like cabbage.
  5. Peacock Butterfly (Aglais io): Named for its striking, eye-like patterns, the peacock butterfly is found in Europe and Asia. They hibernate during the winter months.
  6. Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia): With large eye spots on their wings, common buckeyes are found throughout North and Central America. They are known for their striking patterns and rapid, erratic flight.
  7. Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta): These butterflies have dark wings with a bright red band and white spots. They’re found in various parts of the world and are known for their migratory behavior.
  8. Mourning Cloak (Nymphalis antiopa): Mourning cloaks are one of the few species that overwinter as adults. They have dark brown wings with a row of iridescent blue spots.
  9. Admiral Butterflies: Admirals, such as the White Admiral and the Red-spotted Purple, are known for their dark wings with white or red markings. They’re found in North America and Eurasia.
Monarch Butterfly at Buckfast Butterfly Farm

These are just a few examples of the common butterfly types found around the world. Butterflies captivate us not only with their beautiful colors and patterns but also with their ecological significance as pollinators. Their life cycles, behaviors, and habitat preferences can vary widely, making them a fascinating and vital part of our natural world. If you’re interested in studying butterflies, you can start by identifying these common species and exploring their unique traits.

Visitor Facilities

The onsite café serves hot and cold meals, sweet treats and refreshments. The gift shop sells cuddly insect soft toys, identification guides, jewellery and educational books.

Accessible facilities provided include parking, grab rails, disabled toilets, lift access and large print guides. Contact staff regarding any specific requirements. Buggy-friendly paths make navigation easy.

With its tropical warmth and delicate fluttering wings all around, Buckfast Butterfly Farm promises a truly magical day out. Learn while surrounded by beauty in this living rainforest.

rainforest at buckfast butterfly farm

Frequently Asked Questions

Are dogs allowed at the Butterfly Farm? – No, dogs are not allowed. They would cause anxiety for the animals and the very humid atmosphere is unsuitable for dogs anyway

Is Buckfast Butterfly Farm wheelchair accessible? – Yes, they are verywheelchair friendly, but some of the fences around the pens are too high to see over while seated, so they suggest that those using wheelchairs speak to the keepers to find the best vantage points.

Nearby Attractions

  • Stover Country Park – Scenic nature reserve with woodlands, lakes and trails to explore. Spot local wildlife and enjoy the cafe.
  • Totnes Rare Breeds Farm – Family-friendly farm where you can meet and learn about rare and minority breeds of farm animals like pigs, sheep and cattle.
  • South Devon Railway – Heritage steam railway with scenic journeys along the Dart Valley between Totnes and Buckfastleigh.
  • Buckfast Abbey – Working Benedictine monastery with medieval church, monk’s herb garden and grounds. Shop sells homemade produce.
  • Canonteign Falls – England’s highest waterfall set within a lush wooded gorge. Viewing platforms provide scenic vantage points.
  • Ashburton Cookery School – Friendly cookery school providing inspiring hands-on cooking classes using local Devon produce. Fun activity.
  • Occombe Farm – Traditional farm where visitors can feed and interact with chickens, goats, pigs and more. Nature trails through woods.
  • Becky Falls – Enchanting ancient woodland site near Newton Abbot with a waterfall, tranquil lakes and lovely riverside trails and cafe.

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