Today is Thursday, so it’s Mamma’s Day, and we only have 2 more of these left (after today) before our mini men finish pre-school, so I looked for somewhere for us to head off on a little adventure. We headed over the Earnley Butterflies and Gardens, near Chichester, which promised butterflies, gardens, animals, reptiles, and ship wreck artifacts! The photo above I have included as a rather random, but interesting fact (but I have noticed the spelling mistake!). It is quite a small place, and we easily spent all morning taking everything in before heading into the play area for a picnic.
First up we investigated the butterflies. We were intrigued by the cocoon cupboard as there were several butterflies in various states of emergence and lots of variety too. The butterflies were large and not intimidated by our presence. We also managed to find some butterfly wings on the floor of previous occupants, which our little hoarder daughter collected up (not sure how long they will last), and the entire butterfly she found is now behind picture frame glass in her bedroom – not sure how long that will last either!
Next we pottered into the aviary, where amongst some exotic birds, we met a very cheeky chappy, who rather liked nibbling flip flops! I’m not sure it was the healthiest of diets for him, but he was most insistent. Dadda came away with chunks missing from his, obviously very tasty, footwear. They have a collection of mini gardens from Japanese to Seaside, and Urban to Rose, and whilst they were a little basic, we enjoyed meandering through them doing the children’s quiz.
We then went to check out the reptiles, who I felt rather sorry for as their accommodation was a bit bland and rundown, so we had a quick tour and headed back out to see the owls, guinea pigs, donkeys, rabbits, and tortoises, who were housed much better, but I felt the owls accommodation could be made a little more interesting. A lot of the reptiles and animals they take on as unwanted pets, so at least they are getting a home.
We found the ship wrecked artefacts in a building beside the play area and they were very interesting to look at. There were some things that were in very good condition, considering they had been on the bottom of the seabed. Plates, cutlery, medical syringes and equipment, shot balls, amongst other things. We did enjoy our day, but even in our relaxed meandering style the whole trip only took just under 4 hours being there (and an hour of that was our little lady eating lunch!), so don’t plan to stay the whole day there as it is quite small. I’m pleased we have visited, seen what is there, and now we can tick that off our list.