Elephants branch out into forest of recycled Christmas trees 

North Somerset Council assisting the zoo with a chipper and grounds team.

North Somerset Council assisting the zoo with a chipper and grounds team. - Credit: Noah's Ark Zoo Farm

Big zoo animals and staff alike at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm have been delighted to be met with yet again a huge number of donated Christmas trees and there’s still time to donate your tree. 

It is estimated more than 1,000 Christmas trees have been donated so far following the zoo’s now annual call to recycle trees.

Groundskeepers predict the zoo is on route to receive approximately the same number if not higher, for use at the zoo. 

Staff at the zoo planted a Christmas tree forest for the resident African elephants.

Janu, aged 16, got to explore the trees but many of them didn’t last long against the approximately four-ton animal.  

A pyramid of tree chippings was also left for the rhinos, Rumba and Rumbull, who absolutely love the smell of different wood and took great delight in ascending to the top of the pile and sweeping their horns through it.  

African elephant, Janu inspecting the bigger than ever tree forest.

African elephant, Janu inspecting the bigger than ever tree forest. - Credit: Noah's Ark Zoo Farm

Larry Bush, managing director of Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm, said: “It is an ever-growing mountain of trees that we receive here, and we’re so thankful to our local communities and guests to help the zoo encourage reducing waste and turn something bought temporarily for Christmas into a wide-reaching benefit for the year ahead.”

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In addition to trees in enclosures, North Somerset Council’s street cleansing and grounds contractor Glendale have helped the zoo farm, turning donated trees so far into more than six trailer loads of chipping mulch that provides substrate for the bottom of animal enclosures and contributes to plant bedding across the 100-acre site. 

Grounds manager Michael Bradly with North Somerset Council grounds team.

Grounds manager Michael Bradly with North Somerset Council grounds team. - Credit: Noah's Ark Zoo Farm

Cllr Mike Solomon said: “North Somerset Council are very pleased to be supporting the Christmas tree scheme once again this year. It’s a great way to support local communities and charities, whilst following a sustainable approach.

“Instead of just becoming another waste item the trees are repurposed and are used again as a valuable resource.

"This is all done locally which helps cut down on transportation and carbon emissions and supports our commitment to the climate emergency.” 

The zoo is open from 10.30am–4pm and a discounted rate for entry is available until January 31.