Noah's News Blog
Noah’s Ark goes green!
This week, we’d like to take a moment to discuss the importance of being green in today’s world. Don’t worry, we’re not going to get too deep and philosophical! We just want to talk about what we do here at Noah’s Ark to stay green, make the most of precious resources and conserve the natural environment we’re lucky enough to work in.
We’ve been building up our green initiatives for a number of years, doing our bit to keep sustainable as we grow. We’ve recently received our latest green accolade: we won the national ‘Innovation’ award from the National Farm Attractions Network (NFAN) in recognition of the green developments we’ve built into our Elephant Eden complex.
NFAN are the largest farming body and network in the UK, working to share ideas between Members and support successful farm attractions.
When it came to building our Elephant Eden, we wanted to ensure it was as eco-friendly as possible; after all, we’re sure it’s what our elephants would want! So we made sure to fit a number of solar panels to generate electricity for the complex, a biomass boiler for heat and hot water and also a rain water harvesting system, for added green benefits.
But it’s not just in the Elephant Eden that we’ve installed such technology; we’ve made sure solar panels and biomass heaters are used right across the Noah’s Ark estate. We use a biomass boiler and heating system to warm all our indoor play areas and have solar panels built onto all new animal houses. We also have reed bed filtration systems to help provide clean water for our animals, too.
On site we also have water-efficient toilets and taps for visitors to use and we have another large biomass heaters that use recycled wood chips to heat public areas. When you visit you may also notice rain water collection points all around the estate, from farm building rooftops and other prime locations, so that we can recycle this water in whatever way possible. Even if you fail to spot these you’re sure to notice our 15-metre wind turbine that’s also housed on site!
We even make sure our keepers do everything they can to stay green when out and about performing their daily activities – in a novel twist we have a number of push bikes and a Pashley tricycle to minimise the use of cars and trucks. It may not be the most popular policy in winter, but they appreciate that it’s for the greater good (and they can always warm up again in our environmentally-friendly heated indoor areas!)
It is for the above reasons that we hold a ‘Gold’ title in the national Green Tourism Business Scheme, making us one of only four zoos in the country to hold such an award. The fact that 95% of visitor waste generated on site is recycled, as well as the 20,000 trees we plant every year to help reduce our carbon footprint, have helped us win these certificates; but we want to do more – and this is where you, our visitors, come in.
If you visit this half term be sure to check out our sustainability and conservation displays to learn more about what we do (and what you can do) to help the planet. Our green messages can be found across the zoo.
Spring half term: News from Noah’s Ark
Ah, finally, the kids are saying – half term is here and it’s time to relax and cause a little havoc! Having been cooped up at school since the New Year we’re pretty sure that children across the country are getting excited at the prospect of a little freedom.
As school is now officially out for the holidays, or due to be let out over the following few days or so, here at Noah’s Ark we’re certainly looking forward to welcoming some new little faces, as well as their mums, dads, aunties, uncles and grandparents!
As the biggest zoo in the South West and home to some of the world’s largest species of zoo animals, we’re proud to be a first choice for a day out amongst parents and children alike. We’ve taken some of the stress out of planning a day trip – especially at this time of year when the weather could be balmy and clear one minute, then cold and rainy the next – and have been slowly building the zoo to include everything you need for a fab day out, no matter what. After all, our Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence wasn’t awarded for nothing!
As we mentioned, we’re home to a number of large, exotic and unusual animals; come visit our family of African elephants in the Elephant Eden, opened by HRH The Princess Royal last December, and spend some time with our lions, Bengal tigers, white rhinos, primates and Nile crocodiles, to name but a few.
Brand new for spring 2016, we’ve just launched our Giraffe Encounters gift experience. For just £20 each you can spend 20 minutes behind the scenes with our giant giraffes, feeding them and being shown around our giraffe house and grounds by a Senior Keeper. You can buy an encounter on the day, but spaces are limited (if you’re desperate we’ll let you book in advance!). The minimum age for this experience is five.
If your little tykes are a tad too young for this, then why not while away the hours in one of our 15 adventure play zones? We’ve lots of warm indoor play, perfect for when the February weather gets a little grim (and let’s face it, it’s bound to happen!)
But hopefully with spring around the corner the weather will be perfect for spending time out and about in our vast grounds. After all, the baby-boom has just begun – in fact, earlier this year we welcomed our first baby capybara!
Woo at the Zoo
Which reminds us, Valentine’s Day is nearly here! Just as our animals are feeling the love, if you’re looking for something fun and romantic to do this Valentine’s why not pop down for our ‘Woo at the Zoo’ event? On Saturday 13th Feb we’ll be encouraging all visitors to help make enrichment treats for our animal couples to enjoy, and also enter a competition giving you the chance to win a couples’ Zoo Keeper Experience package!
So what are you waiting for? We’re open Monday to Saturday and all bank holidays, 10:30am – 5pm. You can buy tickets on the door or online for a 5% discount.
Get set for Half Term!
It may seem like the new school term has only just started but half term is nearly upon us! Already the children are getting excited but we’re sure all the parents out there are panicking about having to plan activities well in advance to keep their little ones entertained over the seven-day period.
But fear not! Although organising activities can be a headache, here at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm we’ve got the perfect solution – we’re open for the entire half-term holiday, all day, every day from 10:30am until 5:00pm.
So if you’re a parent struggling for ideas in the Bristol, Somerset and south Wales area, why not pop down for a visit? No matter what the weather brings this half term, we’ve got activities and entertainment lined-up for any condition – wet, windy, stormy or sunny… And being February in the UK, it could definitely be any of these!
As the largest zoo farm in the South West, we are proud to offer a whole host of activities – come and see some of our iconic animals and listen to the daily talks about all our wild residents. Our elephants, giraffes, rhinos, big cats and primates are more than happy to help take some of the pressure off doting parents and distract the kids for a while. Oh, who are we kidding? The parents love them, too!
If the weather does take a turn for the worst, we also have a mix of 15 indoor and outdoor adventure playgrounds where you can escape from the rain. Our huge range of playgrounds makes us one of the premier play venues in the region, featuring a 3D maze, the largest hedge maze in Europe, an under-fives soft play area, slides, beams, ropes and ride-on tractors.
Why not bring the whole family along? We can provide great discounts for large groups and families, helping you save up to 50% on normal entry prices. Visit our Group categories and price bands page here for more information on how to save.
All of our facilities at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm are of the highest standard to meet everyone’s expectations during a busy day out. We have affordable cafés serving a delicious range of drinks and snacks dotted around the site and a number of regularly cleaned toilet blocks positioned in convenient locations. We put full care and attention into ensuring you’re as comfortable as our prized animals during your time with us.
So for more information on our half-term activities, visit our website which will be updated with upcoming events in due course. You can also buy tickets online to save 5% on those purchased for 1st February onwards. Simply print off your e-ticket and get speedy entry on arrival.
We look forward to seeing you during this half term break!