Zoo ready to recycle thousands of Christmas trees

Khan playing with a Christmas tree. Picture: Noah's Ark Zoo Farm

Khan playing with a Christmas tree. Picture: Noah's Ark Zoo Farm - Credit: Archant

After two successful years of Christmas tree recycling at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm, the zoo is set to receive even more with help from North Somerset council.

Building on previous years, Noah’s Ark is keen to help raise awareness of the region’s recycling initiative, reducing Christmas tree wastage, and putting the trees to good use.

Donated Christmas trees benefit the animals at the zoo with a chance for enrichment. With help from North Somerset Council’s Grounds teams, donated trees also provide chipping mulch for animal enclosures and plant beddings.

Elephants and rhinos have previously enjoyed exploring a set up planted forest and lions have picked their way through trees for their dinner after keepers sprayed perfume on the trees. Spectacled bears, Rasu and Madidi have also recently enjoyed inspecting trees to find honey between branches.

Male tiger Khan with his new toy. Picture: Mark Atherton

Male tiger Khan with his new toy. Picture: Mark Atherton - Credit: Archant

However, the wider benefit for the zoo is the predicted 10 tons approximately of chippings that come from the trees. This goes into a range of animal enclosures, from tapirs, coati, spectacled bears and even with the elephants.

In the animal enclosures the chipping is used as substrate for the animals to be kept on outdoors and provides a much-needed help to plant beddings. Mulch from the trees helps to subdue weeds and maintain moisture in the soil.

Grounds manager, Michael Bradly, said: “It’s a phenomenal feat every year now receiving thousands of trees, but it feels great to know that these trees have a huge benefit for our zoo animals.

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“It started off as a couple of trees dropped at our doorstep, then we soon had over 1,000 Christmas trees donated in 2019 and over 1,500 after Christmas last year.”

Christmas trees can be donated to the zoo from Thursday. Picture: Noah's Ark Zoo Farm

Christmas trees can be donated to the zoo from Thursday. Picture: Noah's Ark Zoo Farm - Credit: Archant

This year the zoo is prepared and ready for what it expects to be more trees than ever before. 

The council are supplying assistance from their grounds team, who will provide five days of chipping at the zoo.

It is part of the zoo's Green Zoo initiative to help with a sustainable future. In addition to the success of Christmas tree recycling there’s also 15,000 Beech trees that form the Great British Wildlife Maze and provide an annual silage for the browsing animals.

People wishing to donate their Christmas tree can do so before January 23.

The zoo is open from 10.30am–4pm.