From Yuletide Charm to Green Revolution: Christmas Tree Recycling Returns to Noah’s Ark

20th Dec 2023

Over the years, this initiative has grown from recycling just over 1,000 trees in its inaugural year of 2021 to an impressive 3,000 trees last year in 2023.

We have been using recycled and repurposed Christmas trees for animal enrichment for several years. Chippings from the Christmas trees are popular with many animals at the Zoo. The woodchips are used in the Andean Adventures exhibit, providing different scents and enrichment for resident spectacled bears, Madidi, Rasu, Tuichi and Beni. We all know the familiar smell of a fresh Christmas tree filling our homes, and just like us, the bears at Noah’s Ark get the same joy! Beyond the bears, the rhinos and meerkats also thoroughly enjoy the seasonal enrichment their keepers bury food under the mulch, which stimulates the animals’ natural foraging instinct.

Larry Bush, our Managing Director commented, “Here at Noah’s Ark, we’re kicking off the New Year with the return of our popular Christmas Tree Recycling scheme, run in partnership with North Somerset Council. The scheme forms part of Noah’s Ark’s Green Zoo initiative, which aims to create a sustainable future. The scheme enables the public to dispose of their Christmas trees in a responsible and sustainable way, and also benefit from the knowledge that their tree will be repurposed for good.”

Councillor Annemieke Waite, North Somerset Council’s executive member for climate, waste and sustainability, said: “Instead of becoming another waste item after the festive period, it’s positive that trees are being repurposed and used again as a valuable resource. It’s also wonderful to see the enjoyment and enrichment the animals get from them!

“As this is all done locally, it helps cut down on transportation and carbon emissions. I’d like to thank the team at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm for all they do – with the tree scheme and their overarching green initiative – to help tackle the climate emergency and make North Somerset a greener place.”

People wishing to donate their Christmas tree can do so between Wednesday 3rd and Sunday 21st January, when we are open from 10:30am to 4pm. The recycling is for individual households to benefit from.

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