Unsung hero celebrated at shortlisted Somerset Zoo

The award is for Large Visitor Attraction of the year in the Bristol, Bath and Somerset Tourism Awards. It’s a highly competitive award that the zoo won a silver award for in 2021. Celebrating attractions that provide memorable visitor experiences and demonstrate excellence across every aspect of the business.

“We are delighted to be short-listed for these awards. It’s an honour to be a finalist alongside some fabulous tourist destinations.” Said Larry Bush, Managing Director of Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm.

“It’s wonderful recognition for our dedicated team who have done such an outstanding job during another challenging year to welcome visitors to Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm and to ensure they have a safe, happy and inspiring day out.” He continued.

In addition to this, the zoo’s Education Coordinator, Paula Takle, has also been nominated for the Unsung Hero award. The award recognises an individual working in any aspect of a tourism business who excels in their role and deserves to be applauded for their work and commitment to the industry. It celebrates individuals who continually go above and beyond, offering exceptional service to visitors.

During Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, Paula found new ways to engage the local community and school children by creating new and engaging educational activities for school children. Such as virtual workshops involving videos of big zoo animals, activity booklets, quizzes, and games they could play at home. She encouraged kids to write to the zoo, which she responded to individually to support their literacy skills.

She also set up virtual online zoo workshops bringing the zoo into individual homes and schools. These workshops have worked so well that the team have even accommodated an international class from Indonesia. Al Azhar 30 Islamic Primary School were very excited to learn more about Noah’s Ark animals during their own national Covid-19 lockdown.

“I’m shocked but very happy to have been shortlisted for this award. My aim during the pandemic was to continue to engage our community and provide educational and interactive experiences, during a time when other activities were being cancelled. Creating positive memories during an unsettling time was very important.” Said Paula Takle, Education Coordinator at Noah’s Ark.

Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm will now look forward to the online Awards Day on 17th February to learn whether they have won the Gold, Silver or Bronze or award.

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