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Help fund Portsmouth butterfly house

Fans of the tropical butterflies at Portsmouth's natural history museum are being asked to help fund their new home.

A new butterfly enclosure is being built at Cumberland House Museum, following demolition of the old one, with the new building is due to open this summer. 

Residents and visitors now have the opportunity to contribute to the project, through an online crowdfunding campaign to raise more than £40,000.

The money would help create a great experience for visitors, using tropical plants and water features. It would also help make the museum garden into a haven for British butterflies, using nectar-rich plants to attract them.

Portsmouth City Council, which runs the museum, has launched a Butterfly House Project fundraising page on the Spacehive website.

Project manager Rod McLean said: "The council has already allocated £130,000 towards the new butterfly house, and work is under way. To make the enclosure as impressive as possible for visitors, and to help us attract native species to the garden, we're asking the public for some extra funds.

"So many families have loved coming to the butterfly house over the years, and we're sure they'll want to make sure the new one provides the richest experience possible."

The fundraising campaign has been kick-started by fresh produce importer Fyffes, which has pledged £800, and the Tesco Bags of Help scheme, which has pledged £5,000.

To succeed, the campaign has to reach its goal of £41,685 pledged by 8 July this year. If the total is not reached, then those who have pledged money will not have to contribute after all.

To find out more and make a pledge, people can search "butterfly" at www.spacehive.com

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