Our Story

Our work is to support, protect and care for the natural world, and to inspire people with a love of our planet and with hope for the future.

Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm became a charity on 5th April 2023, the award-winning zoo is set on a working farm in 100 acres of beautiful, peaceful North Somerset countryside located just 6 miles to the south of Bristol.

Opening for its first season as Noah’s Ark Farm Centre in 1999, visitors were able to get hands-on with bottle-feeding lambs and getting up close to both farm animals and exotic animals such as llamas, camels and wallabies. Tractor rides and playing in the hay barn were popular activities as they still are today.  

Now the zoo welcomes over 200,000 visitors a year and has an exciting, large animal collection of over one hundred species which includes African elephants, giraffe, lions, rhinos and spectacled bears. The original hands-on approach has continued and today visitors enjoy close encounters with some amazing animals.

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The Founders

The zoo was founded by Anthony and Christina Bush, who have lived and worked on the site together as dairy farmers since 1962 when the original Moat House Farm was part of the Tyntesfield Estate. The couple first opened Noah’s Ark as a farm visitor centre in 1999 and it quickly became a favourite day out for visitors. It has since grown to become an award-winning zoo and one of the most popular visitor attractions in Somerset.  

Anthony and Christina are members of a local Church of England church and they have been actively involved with Christian organisations and church activities in Bristol and the South West of England for over 50 years. Anthony was a Church of England Lay Reader for many years and was director of Mission England which hosted evangelist Billy Graham at Ashton Gate Stadium in 1984.

In 1988 he worked with other dairy farmers to set up the international development charity Send-a-Cow which still helps many thousands of families each year in African countries and is supported by many churches and farming communities across the UK. 

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Christina and Anthony have always enjoyed welcoming individuals, families, schools and church groups to the farm and over the years have hosted countless events from picnics and nature trails through to barn dances. They have a large family with four children and fourteen grandchildren who still enjoy meeting up at the zoo and some are involved in working here as part of the team.

The decision to open the farm to visitors in 1999, was a natural extension of the hospitality that Anthony and Christina have offered over the years. Their hope is to inspire visitors with an experience of God’s wonderful creation and to provide a fun and uplifting day out for families and for visitors of all faiths and none.

For the zoo's founders the natural world is celebrated as God's creation.

However, Noah's Ark Zoo Farm, does not have nor seeks to promote a view of the theory of creation. Importantly, the zoo is for people of all faiths and none, to understand how human stewardship of the world can and should improve all life on our planet. 

Conservation & Sustainability

Sustainability and conservation are foundational to everything we do at Noah’s Ark. This includes education through our daily Keeper Talks, education workshops and regular fundraising events for animal conservation charities.

We aim to contribute to UK and international efforts to promote biodiversity and sustainability through our zoological conservation work and based on a centuries-old site of agriculture, we play our part in supporting sustainable development of farming, landmanagement and food production. 

Noah’s Ark is proud to have various species which are part of the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP), which works with animal parks and zoos across Europe to breed and protect endangered species. Our Elephant Eden enclosure is the largest elephant enclosure in the UK and in fact the largest in Northern Europe.

Zoe And Falcon

We aim to be a leading “green zoo” and we generate over half of our own electricity needs through renewable power generation on site - solar panels on the roofs of animal enclosures, biomass and our very own wind turbine.

We harvest and recycle water from roofs and we provide enrichment for animals using upcycled materials such as old fire hoses donated by the local fire service. We support local and Fairtrade through our cafes and kiosks and we use recyclable and compostable packaging wherever possible.

Not only do we aim to be sustainable but we also aim to be responsible. We make responsible choices with our purchasing by choosing Fairtrade or choosing local items wherever possible. Our cafe and giftshop both have a wide range of Fairtrade products including cotton products, chocolate, coffee and more! 

Noah’s Ark has been recognised with multiple awards at a regional and national level for education, our animal enclosures, sustainability and green tourism. We are members of BIAZA (British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums) and we are accredited by the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom.

Schools & Education At Noah's Ark 

We aim to make Noah's Ark a place of joy, wonder, adventure and refreshment that supports the well-being of our visitors, staff and volunteers alike. Through education and outreach we aim to inspire and motivate this generation and the next to consider sustainable lifestyles and care for our planet. 

Educational field trips are a great way to learn and a day out at Noah's Ark Zoo Farm can provide learning opportunities for all ages and abilities. Our education programme is accredited by the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom and our education material reflects the content of the National Curriculum.

We offer a comprehensive range of workshops, delivered with a hands-on focus which offers the opportunity to meet exciting animals up close. Our wide variety of teaching sessions and learning resources are designed to help you communicate the National Curriculum in a fun, exciting environment.

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Our experienced Education team are happy to discuss any bespoke workshop requirements. The Education Team at Noah's Ark pride themselves on delivering workshops that are appropriate to all audiences including those from multi-faith or non-religious backgrounds.

As members of BIAZA our education programme is independently audited each year and schools can be confident in the quality and professionalism that we offer.

For more information or to book a school trip to Noah's Ark, please contact the Education Department on 01275 852 606.

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