This week, we’d like to take a moment to discuss the importance of being green in today’s world. Don’t worry, we’re not going to get too deep and philosophical! We just want to talk about what we do here at Noah’s Ark to stay green, make the most of precious resources and conserve the natural environment we’re lucky enough to work in.
We’ve been building up our green initiatives for a number of years, doing our bit to keep sustainable as we grow. We’ve recently received our latest green accolade: we won the national ‘Innovation’ award from the National Farm Attractions Network (NFAN) in recognition of the green developments we’ve built into our Elephant Eden complex.
NFAN are the largest farming body and network in the UK, working to share ideas between Members and support successful farm attractions.
When it came to building our Elephant Eden, we wanted to ensure it was as eco-friendly as possible; after all, we’re sure it’s what our elephants would want! So we made sure to fit a number of solar panels to generate electricity for the complex, a biomass boiler for heat and hot water and also a rain water harvesting system, for added green benefits.
But it’s not just in the Elephant Eden that we’ve installed such technology; we’ve made sure solar panels and biomass heaters are used right across the Noah’s Ark estate. We use a biomass boiler and heating system to warm all our indoor play areas and have solar panels built onto all new animal houses. We also have reed bed filtration systems to help provide clean water for our animals, too.
On site we also have water-efficient toilets and taps for visitors to use and we have another large biomass heaters that use recycled wood chips to heat public areas. When you visit you may also notice rain water collection points all around the estate, from farm building rooftops and other prime locations, so that we can recycle this water in whatever way possible. Even if you fail to spot these you’re sure to notice our 15-metre wind turbine that’s also housed on site!
We even make sure our keepers do everything they can to stay green when out and about performing their daily activities – in a novel twist we have a number of push bikes and a Pashley tricycle to minimise the use of cars and trucks. It may not be the most popular policy in winter, but they appreciate that it’s for the greater good (and they can always warm up again in our environmentally-friendly heated indoor areas!)
It is for the above reasons that we hold a ‘Gold’ title in the national Green Tourism Business Scheme, making us one of only four zoos in the country to hold such an award. The fact that 95% of visitor waste generated on site is recycled, as well as the 20,000 trees we plant every year to help reduce our carbon footprint, have helped us win these certificates; but we want to do more – and this is where you, our visitors, come in.
If you visit this half term be sure to check out our sustainability and conservation displays to learn more about what we do (and what you can do) to help the planet. Our green messages can be found across the zoo.