Butterfly World

EAS provided the Butterfly World Trust with transportation advice for a leisure development on a greenfield site expected to attract over 500,000 visitors per annum; as well as civil engineering design for the offsite highway improvements and internal access roads.

The Butterfly World Trust is developing the biggest butterfly walk-through exhibition in the world housed in a 100m diameter glass dome.   In December 2003 the 27 acre site was secured for the Butterfly World Trust project and outline planning permission for the whole project was granted in March 2004.  Since then the access road has been built and the site opened as ‘Future Gardens’ which includes competition gardens and the richest wild flower meadows in Hertfordshire.

Located just off junction 21a of the M25 and close to St Albans rail stations the development will become a major tourist attraction with an expected 250,000- 500,000 visitors per annum by 2012.

Key Issues

Demonstrating that up to 5,000 people on a peak day could access the site was a prerequisite of gaining planning consent.

Following consent, EAS designed and oversaw construction of the access and signage strategy for the development, including negotiating the accompanying section 278 agreement with Hertfordshire County Council.  The access road has a country lane feel that makes use of local and recycled materials.

EAS Solutions

EAS agreed with Hertfordshire County Council a Green Travel Plan for staff and visitors. The transport strategy included improvements to local pedestrian and cycle facilities, shuttle-buses, coaches and coach parking facilities, extension of existing bus services and suitable parking for residual car users.   This strategy helped demonstrate that the surrounding road network can safely accommodate the expected traffic.

A drainage strategy was developed and implemented for the access road that combines the use of swales and continuous infiltration trenches along the 700m access road, to make best use of the relatively poorly draining soil without the need for balancing ponds.