Relaunch of Britain’s longest hedge maze
- Credit: Noah's Ark Zoo Farm
A 3.4km hedge maze has been relaunched at a Wraxall zoo, with a unique bird’s nest tower at its centre to celebrate British wildlife.
The Great British Wildlife Maze at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm is the longest and wildest hedge maze in the UK.
A significant infrastructure project, originally constructed from more than 15,000 British beech trees that were handplanted by the zoo team in 2003, growing from small 2ft high saplings to mature hedges more than 5ft high.
Larry Bush, the zoo's managing director, said: “We wanted to celebrate our amazing British wildlife for all to enjoy. The amazing nest tower with slide at the centre of the hedge maze, along with new British wildlife themed questions, provide a really fun and engaging space for families to enjoy as part of a day out at the zoo this summer.
"Our hedge maze aims to educate and inspire its explorers about the wonders of the biodiversity here in the UK and helps to raise awareness of British wildlife habitats. We have an incredible variety of native species here in North Somerset and our zoo farm is home to everything from butterflies, bats and buzzards to hedgehogs, foxes and deer.
"Many birds make their nests in the hedgerows of the maze itself each Spring so it is a key wildlife habitat in its own right. Visitors will notice British wildlife is a big theme throughout Noah’s Ark alongside our big zoo animals and exotic wildlife conservation.”
Two new timber structures have been added to the hedge maze as part of the relaunch. With an interactive trail and revamped wildlife questions, maze explorers can navigate the maze, climb the new nest tower with scenic views over the zoo and finish with a slide back down.
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Jon Jutsum, the zoo's site manager, added: “We are very pleased to be partnering with local timber craft specialists at Touchwood Play who are based just a few miles away.
"They have used local timber and designed a beautifully-crafted, welcoming entrance and a unique maze tower covered in stag oak with nesting birds in mind.
“Maintenance of a maze this size is enormous, as you can imagine. Every year the hedge maze is trimmed and provides a huge 47 barrels of browse for feeding our giraffes, elephants and camels here at the zoo.”