Thousands of Christmas trees donated to Noah's Ark Zoo for animals to enjoy

080123 Christmas Tree Recycling Noah's Ark Zoo
Christmas trees can be donated to the zoo up to January 23 Credit: Noah's Ark Zoo Farm

Thousands of Christmas trees have been donated to Noah's Ark Zoo Farm near Bristol.

The zoo and North Somerset Council have joined forces to create the biggest recycling programme to date.

In its fourth year of running the scheme, the team is keen to reduce Christmas tree wastage but also put all the donations to good use.

The trees benefit many animals at the zoo - and with help of the council, around 10 tons are turned into chippings for plant beddings and mulch for the animal enclosures.

The bears enjoy inspecting trees to find honey between branches Credit: Noah's Ark Zoo Farm

Elephants and rhinos have been able to explore a set up planted forest and the lions have been picking their way through the trees for their dinner.

The meerkats and bears have also been inspecting the trees for tasty snacks hidden away in the branches.

Larry Bush, managing director of Noah's Ark Zoo Farm, said: "The Christmas trees are enjoyed by all the animals. We have thousands of trees donated, so we are in a really good position to use lots of them around the zoo.

"We're always changing the environments where the animals live to fit in with the seasons, so this is like a Christmas treat for the animals. It's something new for them to experience in their enclosures."

Larry Bush, the zoo's managing director, says it's been the busiest year to date

The zoo has also teamed with with St Peter's Hospice to collect trees from any postcode in Bristol.

On Saturday (7 January), charity volunteers were busy collecting trees for a small donations and then delivered them all to the zoo.

Nick Wilson, community fundraiser at the Bristol branch of St Peter's Hospice, said: "This is the busiest year we've had so far. We've collected more than 1,200 trees and the same number of people have donated.

"We've raised nearly £17,500 through donations already. It really is a massive help to us at this time of year, when things are so difficult in the charity sector at the moment."

Christmas trees can be donated to Noah's Ark Zoo Farm up until January 23.