Bugs, bees and bats at new Rutland Water zoo

Natalia and Jozef at the former Butterfly House which they are turn into a zoo for animals, reptiles and birds. EMN-141120-085527001

Natalia and Jozef at the former Butterfly House which they are turn into a zoo for animals, reptiles and birds. EMN-141120-085527001

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Birds, bugs, bats and bees will be among the creatures to take up residence at Rutland Water in a new zoo.

The former Butterfly Farm, which shut six years ago and has been empty since will become home to Bugtopia The Zoo.

The 11,000 sq ft space will be occupied by stick insects, tarantulas, scorpions, chameleons, parrots, iguanas, foxes and racoons an many more.

The zoo will comprise:

- Jungle area - a walk through room where animals and birds roam free;

- Educational area - where activities are held;

- Twilight Zone - where bats, sugar-gliders and other nocturnal creatures dwell;

- Bug City - where insects will be housed.

The project is the creation of Natalia Matts, 28 and Jozef Mordawska, 31.

Natalia said: “We’ve always been into bugs and animals. And we will bring the Bird House back to life.”

Jozef said the quiet and peaceful premises at Rutland Water were perfect for their animals.

The main aim of the zoo will be to educate and enlighten children about bugs, reptiles and animals.

Jozef said: “Our focus is very much educational: conservation through education.

“Spiders, for example, eat mosquitos and flees - they are a natural pest control.

”Bees and insects pollinate crops and flowers.

“What we want to do is teach children about the important role the bugs and birds play in our everyday lives.”

The pair already own Bugtopia in Kettering, which they plan to keep, with the zoo their main focus.

The Butterfly Farm needs “a lot of work” to convert it into a zoo by March and the pair urgently need volunteer helpers and tradesmen who can help to revamp the building.

Natalia or Jozef can be contacted on 07938 232723 if anyone wants to help.