The Butterflies are as imported as sustainably farmed pupae. None are taken from the wild. The adult butterflies naturally only live two or three weeks, we need to buy in hundreds of new ones each month. The butterfly pupae alone cost around £12,000 a season, let alone the trained staff and heating bills. On top of this we breed many of our own butterflies. This is why a visit to a butterfly house is as expensive as going out for a family meal, but we would like to think that people remember the day for years to come.
Your money goes to rural people living out in The Philippines and Costa Rica. This is one of the best known examples of biological sustainable development where rural people gain financial security and no harm is done to nature. Very occasionally, wild females are caught from the forest to lay eggs in a netted enclosure to start a new population, or to prevent inbreeding. This actually gives the wild forest an economic value, as the butterfly farming fails without it. Ultimately if forests are not seen to have an economic value, they are unfortunately chopped down to farm something that does.