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British actress Emilia Fox has been named patron of a butterfly sanctuary in the UK.

The Butterfly World Project aims to preserve the future of England’s unique butterflies. Visitors to the St Albans project can enjoy 12 temporary contemporary gardens from some of Europe’s best known designers as well as some new faces to the gardening world. A large butterfly breeding house is now open, and in 2011 a huge rainforest Biome will be constructed.

Emilia joins David Attenborough, Alan Titchmarsh and David Bellamy as patron of the project.

“I get a lot of requests to be involved in things and I think you have to pick the ones you really care about and can do something to help,” she told the Daily Telegraph. "I was immediately bowled over by Clive’s [Farrell, Butterfly World creator] passion and jumped at the chance.

“Butterflies are the canaries in the coal mine as far as conversation is concerned. Their fragility exposes what’s going on around us.

“It’s important that we teach the younger generations not to take the landscape for granted. At Butterfly World they can see what’s going on outside the classroom – away from television and computers, and it helps spark the imagination.”

The Butterfly World Project is open until September, when Phase III of construction will begin. For more information, click here.

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