Christmas Tree Recycling 2023

30th Jan 2023


Christmas Tree Recycling with North Somerset Council

Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm have been using recycled Christmas trees for animal enrichment for their animals for many years. However, in 2020 after a case of mistaken identity with a zoo with a similar name in the US, the campaign took off beyond all expectations.

Last year, the zoo worked alongside North Somerset Council to recycle thousands of Christmas trees. Many of the trees were used for animal enrichment including African Elephants, White Rhinos, Meerkats and Lions.

The remainder of the trees were chipped by Glendale; North Somerset Council’s Grounds team. The woodchip has many uses around the zoo, in both animal enclosures and in the gardens. The woodchips are used in the Andean Adventures exhibit, providing different scents and enrichment for resident Spectacled Bears, Madidi, Rasu, Tuichi and Beni. While the elephants, not only consume whole trees, they also enjoy searching their way through piles of chippings for buried treats. The meerkats love digging in the sand and for a seasonal change, the keepers bury their food under the mulch, this simulates hunting in the wild and is a key part of their enrichment.

Larry Bush, Managing Director of the zoo commented “We really love the Christmas tree recycling program and so do all our animals. By joining forces with North Somerset Council, it enabled us to chip the remaining trees efficiently to use around the zoo grounds. We hope to build on this popular scheme and to continue our partnership with North Somerset.”


The zoo and North Somerset Council have confirmed that they are joining forces again in January 2023 with the aim of growing the Christmas Tree recycling program into the biggest year yet! Residents in North Somerset are invited to drop off their Christmas trees at the zoo’s Christmas tree recycling point, located in their carpark, from 2-22 January 2023.

Councillor Mike Solomon, North Somerset Council’s executive member for community and neighbourhood services, said: "North Somerset Council is very pleased to support the Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm Christmas tree scheme again this year. It’s a great way for people to support this local organisation, while following a sustainable approach.

“Instead of becoming another waste item after the festive period, it’s positive to see the trees being repurposed and used again as a valuable resource. As this is all done locally, it helps cut down on transportation and carbon emissions, while supporting our commitment to tackle the climate emergency.”

The Christmas tree chippings not only benefit the animals but also the surrounding grounds as the zoo also uses the woodchip as bedding mulch across the grounds of the 100-acre attraction. The sustainable chippings help to subdue the weeds and maintain moisture in the soil and reduces the need for weed spraying.

Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm in their commitment to be home to a greener, more sustainable Christmas have incorporated a “Wonky Christmas Tree Corner” into this year’s Christmas event. These trees weren’t considered ‘perfect’ enough to make the Christmas tree sales and would usually be cut down and destroyed without their chance to shine.

Maze Drone 1

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