Wye Valley Butterfly Zoo Pathway

Pathway at Wye Valley Butterfly Zoo 

Background

Wye Valley is an area of outstanding natural beauty and is located 6.6 miles outside Ross on Wye town in Herefordshire, where you will find the popular indoor attraction Wye Valley Butterfly Zoo known for breeding and caring for some incredibly tropical butterflies.

The zoo was severely damaged at the beginning of 2020 by Storm Dennis in February, they sadly lost four butterflies and seen tremendous damage to other areas of the zoo such as the miniature golf area, and were forced to close. To further the delay to rebuild the damaged areas the world was hit with COVID-19 and they had to remain closed.  After months of cleaning, rebuilding, and planning to open their doors to the public in early 2021, they decided to postpone reopening until the Summer in the hope of the peak season being a more suitable option with the promise of covid restrictions be lifted to the leisure and tourism industry.

Job brief/planning

SureSet was contacted by Emma Brady from Wye Valley Butterfly Zoo in early Spring 2021 after seeing the amazing installation we completed for the Stratford Butterfly Farm they were so impressed they wanted resin bound paving to complete their pathways around the butterfly zoo, with a particularly intricate design in mind to include various bespoke colour blended butterflies is red, green and blue.

As manufacturers, SureSet was able to offer technical and design advice as well as produce specific bespoke colours to match the particular project requirements.  By offering a full installation service, with a choice of an extensive range of products we can bring life to projects including driveways, patios, pool surrounds roof gardens, play areas, car parks, and public spaces.  The complete range includes a wide variety of colour and texture options, with natural gravel and crushed stone, marble and recycled glass, shells, bricks, and even bottles.  The range provides almost limitless options for landscape architects, developers, and homeowners – from natural buffs and shades of terracotta to rich, vibrant primary colours.

To complete the bespoke butterflies the desired shape the zoo had in mind was sent out as a PDF template for us to explore their ideas and provide them with suitable options.  Overall a simple butterfly shape was requested but with a two-toned colour effect to give the zoo’s pathways the extra wow factor!

To accomplish the best possible finish SureSet had the silhouette of the butterfly shape formed using an MDF CAD cutter, this allowed us to pay special attention to detail to the resin bound colour blending we needed to produce for such an amazing feature.

“Using a pre-formed shape and installing colour work like this prior to the main installation is a great way to achieve bespoke work of a high quality, allowing our installation teams more time on the day to concentrate on the remaining areas, in this case, the natural gravel pathways.”

Dave Shell | Head of Commercial Sales

 

 

1m x 1m from wing to wing.

The stencil depth 18mm.

Male and female parts.

 

 

 

Process/Execution

For the butterflies, SureSet used a 3mm clear recycled glass from our Spectrum range. All of the glass SureSet use is tumbled and pigmented to a colour of your choosing, Wye Valley Zoo had a blend of blueberry pastel, vibrant sky blue to pool and mint green, daffodil yellow, traffic red, and for the wings our midnight black used for the main body of the butterflies.

There was one large silhouette of a butterfly in a bespoke “Blue Blend” which was designed to mark social distancing. The two smaller butterflies were in a beautiful blend of “Green” and “Bright Red” were designed to mark the direction that people should follow to guide them around the zoo.

The base used for SureSet resin systems was SureCell, this is an interlocking gravel cellular grid 40mm deep and filled with 10mm loose stone, it provides the ideal base for small areas whilst being durable and eco-friendly. SureCell can be laid directly onto a compacted stone and then in-filled with loose gravel, it provides an incredibly strong and stable surface which is ideal for a heavy footfall.

The 200m² main pathways around the Butterfly Zoo was installed in “Pearl Jam” a 6mm Natural Aggregate stone that compliments the surrounding and really makes the brightly coloured resin bound butterflies to pop! as well as guiding visitors through a butterflies life cycle from a tiny egg to walking around with them up close and personal in real life!

The range of colours and textures used in this project importantly blend in with surroundings whilst the feature paving materials provide a sharp contrast of interest for visitors. Resin bound paving has proved to be the perfect design solution for an extensive range of projects across the world.  From schools, medical centres, bridges, and hospitals, to private homes and pedestrianised areas, the product has brought life and colour to landscape schemes of all shapes, sizes, and complexity.

For larger intricate areas, most suppliers have their own professional, skilled installation teams.  However, for smaller areas, some also offer DIY kits that contain everything needed to complete a perfect job. Visit our contact page for installations or browse our self-install products via our online shop to check what’s available.

Performance is never sacrificed for the sake of design.  SureSet resin systems provide a beautiful and hard-wearing surface that will give plentiful years of service that requires minimal maintenance.  Resistant to cracks, oil, UV-light, and frost damage, the integrity of a SureSet resin bound surface remains intact, preventing stones from becoming loose and weeds from growing through.

SureSet were approached to explore the feasibility of a resin floor at the Wye Valley Butterfly Zoo to increase flood resilience due to increased risk as a result of climate change.The team were professional in their approach from start to finish, excellent in communicating what was attainable, sending samples so we could see exactly what effects we could achieve for our blended butterfly features, inset into the flooring.Of particular note was the diligence with which the pre-installation surveys took place, ensuring that the correct quantities were used saving costs, and eliminating waste. The installation team worked quickly and efficiently and tidied up after themselves. The effect looks really amazing and we, and the public, are very impressed with the result, being both visually impressive and practical to maintain.The whole process has been a stress-free experience, providing the best solution to our particular needs, and most reassuring is that we know the SureSet team are always available to help us in the future.

Lindsay, Edward and Emma from the Wye Valley Butterfly Zoo.

To see how we created the butterflies watch our video for this project.

For more information on our commercial installations, please email us at [email protected]

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