The beauty of British butterflies is being celebrated at a new museum exhibition.

The exhibition at Braintree District Museum, in Manor Street, Braintree, is open from now until April 27.

It celebrates butterflies’ beauty, their habitats, life history and the threats they face in our ever-changing world.

More than 65 butterfly and moth specimens are on display, including those which are most under-threat, such as the Black Veined White, the Silver Washed Fritillary, Dingy Skipper and Duke of Burgundy.

Children will have the chance to complete activity sheets and there is also a new wiggly caterpillar for little ones to climb through.

There is a special connection between butterflies and our area.

Natural historian John Ray, who was born and brought up in Black Notley in the seventeenth century, was one of the first people to publish work about butterflies in the British Isles.

His book Historia Insectorum describes 48 different species of butterfly, many of which were detailed for the very first time.

Visitors to the museum can also explore the John Ray Gallery and the children’s discovery area.

Braintree District Museum is open 10am to 4pm, Tuesday to Saturday.

For more information, call 01376 328868 or visit