Winner of Winners award for Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm

16th Mar 2022

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Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm is proud to win three prestigious awards in this year’s Bristol, Bath and Somerset Tourism Awards. The zoo won Gold for Large Visitor attraction of the year and was surprised by the announcement of the Winner of Winners title!

The winners were announced via a Zoom presentation ceremony on Thursday 17th February 2022, with the best tourism businesses rewarded for all their hard work and achievements during this challenging year.

The zoo was selected by expert judges as the overall Winner of Winners for their commitment to continuous development over many years and for leading the way in promoting sustainability and accessibility and acting to visitor feedback.

Whilst announcing the Winner of Winners award, the judges said "This year’s winner of winners is a family owned attraction that started its existence in 1962 as a dairy farm and and has since transformed into one of Somerset’s most popular attractions welcoming over 200,000 visitors a year. Sustainability and conservation are at the heart of everything they do. They hold a gold Green Tourism Business Award and in fact they have won five sustainability awards since these awards started! Our judging panel said this is a truly impressive business, a shining light in the sector. As well as winning this year in the Large Attraction category, with an entry and a mystery visit that was exceptional, it has won 13 Bristol Bath and Somerset awards over the past 6 years due to its excellence in Accessibility and Customer Service. We have seen continued improvement, with the team clearly listening to the feedback and acting on it, to a point now where this business is leading the way in the sector across so many areas of the operation, and most importantly giving visitors to the region a consistently exceptional experience."

“I’m delighted that the zoo has been recognised with these awards. It has been a tough couple of years so for the team to be praised by the judges for their dedication and for leading the way in customer service is just brilliant” said Larry Bush, Director of the zoo.

In addition to this, the zoo’s Education Coordinator, Paula Takle, has won the Silver in 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, activity booklets, quizzes, and games they could play at home. She also encouraged them 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, who 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 won the Silver Unsung Hero 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.

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