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Tropical House

Tropical Wings is home to one of the finest tropical houses in the UK; a miniature oasis where you can experience a tropical feel on any day of the year! We are one of the very few UK tropical houses to have free-flying butterflies all year round but it is in Springtime that it really comes to life. Longer, brighter days trigger our butterflies to start their breeding cycle and the many tropical flowers begin to burst into life. Hundreds of butterflies create a kaleidoscope of colour as they jostle for the best flowers on which to feed. Our predominant butterfly is the Postman Butterfly from South America and hundreds of these highly variable insects can be seen between May and October. The impressive Owl butterflies offer year round interest and actually become more active in duller weather, towards dusk. With their characteristic “eye-spots” on the wings, gather on fruit tables to drink the fermenting juices of over-ripe bananas and oranges.

Free-flying birds such as Speckled Mousebirds Colius striatus scurry through the branches, the Bronze Sunbirds Nectarinia kilimensisour smallest species of bird dart continuously through the foliage, watch out for the male who will chase off any other birds that come too close to his nest. The stunning pair of Red-crested Turaco’s Tauraco erythrolophus are extremely rare in the wild and we are hoping that they will breed for us this year so we can make an important contribution to saving this species from extinction. There are also several aviaries housing a delightful pair of Red-flanked Lorikeets Charmosyna placentis, Green Iguana Iguana iguana and Red-foot Tortoises Chelonoidis carbonaria and Japanese Quail Coturnix japonica running around the floor are our very own pest control squad! They eat small insects that may be harmful to our plants.

The calming sound of the waterfall draws your attention to a large pond stocked with some huge Koi Carp. Fish enthusiasts love to watch these giants gracefully cruising through the waters while kids (of all ages!) can delight in the frenzied feeding when you throw them some fish-food pellets (available from the gift shop). Also see our pair of Hottentot Teal Anas hottentota, these ducks are a type of dabbling duck, which means that they get their food from the surface of the water.