Edinburgh Butterfly and Insect World: Readers react with dismay to news that beloved centre is to close permanently
Readers have reacted with shock at the news that a Lothians institution, the Edinburgh Butterfly and Insect World, has closed its doors for good.
Bosses said that they took the “difficult decision” to permanently shut the doors of the world’s longest-running indoor butterfly house following a spending review.
Leigh-Anne Wood said: “This makes me so sad. We absolutely love the butterfly farm.”
Sheena Laird agreed. “Oh no,” she wrote, “this was a fabulous place to go with kids. So sad.”
Clarihew Lynn called the news “a tragedy” adding: “This place is awesome. They helped me get over my serious fear of spiders.”
Sharon Longhurst said she was “absolutely gutted” by the decision to close, claiming her family have “so many great memories” of Butterfly and Insect World. “The staff were always so lovely and all three of my children have loved it over the years,” she wrote.
Some, including Alan Watt, blamed the centre’s owners.
“Unfortunately,” he wrote, “these days Dobbies are only interested in the revenue they can generate from that piece of land.”
Ann Kenny told followers: “This was the last place my late mother and I went to visit.
“I lost my fear of spiders because of the demonstrations and loved walking among the plants in the greenhouse.”
Alongside the widespread dismay, there was a war of words over what could be done to prevent it closure.
Karen Salveta insisted: “Someone should set up a petition or a fundraising page to keep this going.
“It's a fab place. Really need to save it for future generations.”
“Would happily contribute to some sort of fund to save this place,” wrote Vinnie Devine. “Our kids absolutely love this place and is a godsend on those rainy days when outdoor activities are difficult.”
Katrina Colburn drew comparisons with Gorgie Farm, a social enterprise that was saved from closure last year. “This needs saving too,” she wrote.
Gemma Riddles said it was “a pity they cannot get charity status to remain open,” while Doreen Mcfadyen suggested that the insect house could be “sponsored by several companies” to fight its closure.
Stephanie McCormick urged locals to write to their local MP to save the Butterfly and Insect World, calling it an “invaluable learning resource for local children".
“If it can't be run as a business any longer it should certainly be considered as a social enterprise venture.”
Douglas Murdoch complained: “Another one the government will not help. Primary school kids go there as part of there education - now what are they going to do?”
But Louise Wilson disagreed: “It really makes me angry,” she wrote, “all the people that jump on posts like this and say it shouldn’t be shutting that haven’t bothered supporting them in years.
“Maybe if they had gone they wouldn’t need to shut. Every time we have gone it’s always been dead.
“Nothing to do with the government more to do with the public!” she added.
Meanwhile Susan Stevens wondered how viable the business was during the pandemic.
She wrote: “Sadly I don’t see how it can open while Covid is still rife.
It’s a greenhouse environment with little space for social distancing. I hope they find homes for all their birds, insects and reptiles.”