Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm Gears Up For Biggest Christmas Tree-Cycling Yet
19th Jan 2024
We are pleased to confirm that our popular Christmas tree recycling scheme will be returning in January 2024 for the fourth year running. Run in conjunction with North Somerset Council and other local charities, the scheme has gone from strength to strength, gaining momentum each year.
Our Christmas tree recycling initiative has grown from just around 1,000 trees in the first year in 2021 to over 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! The rhinos and meerkats also thoroughly enjoy the seasonal enrichment, their keepers bury food under the mulch, which stimulates the animals’ natural foraging instinct.
The largest residents at the Zoo are also involved in the post-Christmas fun! Our elephants devour the Christmas tree branches, and also enjoy searching their way through piles of chippings for buried treats. The elephants enjoy willow and other tree branches as part of their regular diet, so this is a festive spin on a staple they already enjoy.
Jon Jutsum, our Site Manager said, “The Christmas tree recycling scheme forms part of Noah’s Ark’s Green Zoo initiative, which aims to create a sustainable future for all. 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. This year, we have had a record year of selling our locally sourced wonky Christmas trees at the Zoo! We are proud to offer a full service of enabling people to purchase their tree from us, and then recycling it with us too. This means the trees start and end their journey here at the Zoo.”
Councillor Annemieke Waite, North Somerset Council’s executive member for climate, waste and sustainability, said, “North Somerset Council is very happy to support the Christmas tree recycling scheme at Noah’s Ark Zoo again this year. This is part of a wider recycling scheme that we run in partnership with St Peter’s Hospice and Weston-super-Mare Rotary Club for Weston Hospicecare. Taking part is a great way for people to support local communities and charities – last year’s collections raised over £37,350 – 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.”
Larry Bush, our Managing Director added, “We all love the Christmas tree recycling program as much as our animals do, and our partnership with North Somerset Council and other local charities has allowed us to effectively support local green initiatives whilst finding a good use for the preloved Christmas Trees. As we became a charity in April, this year, for the first time, we are inviting those using the Christmas tree recycling scheme to make a donation to Noah’s Ark’s vital conservation efforts. We are looking forward to seeing how much we can grow the scheme on previous years, and hope this is the biggest year yet!”
People wishing to donate their Christmas tree can do so between Wednesday 3rd and Sunday 21st January 2024, when we are open from 10:30am to 4pm. The recycling is for individual households to benefit from.