Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm is a family-owned zoo set on a working farm in 100 acres of beautiful, peaceful North Somerset countryside. The zoo was founded by Anthony and Christina Bush, who have lived and worked there together as dairy farmers since 1962 when the original Moat House Farm was part of the Tyntesfield Estate. The couple first opened Noah’s Ark as a farm visitor centre in 1999 and it quickly became a favourite day out for visitors. It has since grown to become an award-winning zoo and one of the most popular visitor attractions in Somerset.
Opening for its first season as Noah’s Ark Farm Centre in 1999, visitors were able to get hands-on with bottle-feeding lambs and getting up close to both farm animals and exotic animals such as llamas, camels and wallabies. Tractor rides and playing in the hay barn were popular activities as they still are today.
Now the zoo welcomes over 170,000 visitors a year and has an exciting, large animal collection of over one hundred species which includes African elephants, giraffes, lions, a tiger, rhinos and bears. The original hands-on approach has continued and today visitors enjoy close encounters with some amazing animals.
Sustainability and conservation are foundational to everything they do at Noah’s Ark. This includes education through their daily Keeper Talks, education workshops and regular fundraising events for animal conservation charities.
Noah’s Ark is proud to have various species which are part of the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP), which works with animal parks and zoos across Europe to breed and protect endangered species. The Elephant Eden enclosure is the largest elephant enclosure in the UK and in fact the largest in Northern Europe.
The farm aims to be a leading “green zoo” and generates over half of their our own electricity needs through renewable power generation on site – solar panels on the roofs of animal enclosures, biomass and their our very own wind turbine. Harvesting and recycling water from roofs and providing enrichment for animals using upcycled materials such as old fire hoses donated by the local fire service. They support local and Fairtrade through our cafes and kiosks and use recyclable and compostable packaging wherever possible.
They have over 100 different species of animals from Lions and Tigers, giant African Elephants, Giraffes and Bison to Madagascar Day Geckos, Yellow-Bellied Terrapins and Sun Beetles.
If you visit the zoo you’ll find a model replica of the biblical Ark in the Ark Exhibition Room located just off the courtyard opposite our Farm Shop. As the name of the park suggests, it is themed on the story of Noah and the Ark and has had some resources onsite which explore the idea that a boat built by a man inspired by God was constructed to protect and conserve creatures from an early flooded world.
Was it just a story or is there evidence for a real event? You can make up your own mind from the information boards and take a look at the impressive scale model vessel.
The model Ark took a thousand hours to build. It is built in scale with the dimensions in Genesis, a full size vessel would have been huge. To verify whether a timber-built vessel of this size could really float they asked Professor Andrews of the London School of Naval Architecture to allow a student to do a research project on it. He agreed. Thomas Grafton studied the Ark as part of his degree course and showed that it most certainly would have floated. In his review of the project, Charles Betts, chief naval architect for the British Navy, considered that the Ark would have been able to withstand a force-12 gale.
The Zoo hold’s special events through the year, in January kids go for free when accompanied by a paying adult. February Half Term, Woo At the Zoo, where you can follow the heart trail around the zoo, finding fun facts about the animals and you can win a family day ticket for 2 adults and 2 children. And much more.
Check out their special events HERE
For an additional cost why not try their Elephant Experience. Be prepared to get up close with the largest land mammal on Earth, the African Elephant. A One-to-one experience, behind the scenes with their Elephant Keepers to find out how our African elephants receive the best care possible. Find out what it’s really like to be a Zoo keeper as you help with daily enclosure maintenance and food preparation. Watch in awe as our experienced keepers, with protected contact training, carry out daily husbandry tasks such as weighing, washing and foot care. Revel in exclusive behind-the-scenes access to our 20-acre Elephant enclosure and help the keepers hide enrichment treats for the Elephants to find. Enjoy all this whilst learning some fantastic facts from our highly experienced keepers. You will also receive an Elephant Keeper experience souvenir pack which includes free day entry to Zoo for the participant(s), a personalised certificate of achievement and a complimentary T-shirt to remember your experience.
Check out their Website for more information on this great experience HERE
They also have a large indoor play areas for rainy days :-
Jungle Den – A heated indoor soft play area for under 5’s. Ball pits, rollers, slides, soft games, ball blower and much more!
Beehive Maze – Buzz around the largest indoor 3d maze on site which covers 4 levels with many a twist, turn and dead-end to make it a little harder.
SoftPlay – A huge indoor play barn with a massive drop slide, trampolines, climbing frames, rope bridges, nets and swings. Younger children will enjoy the tractor track with plastic tractors to drive.
Straw Den – Swing your way around our barn on the hanging ropes and land softly in the mound of straw in the covered play straw barn.
Milk A Cow – Try your hand at milking their life-size cow in the Animal Village.
And an outside Play Area:-
Mega Monster & Mini Maze – Europe’s longest hedge maze! Will you conquer it? Have an a-maze-ing time answering the questions to lead you out. The mini maze alongside is good practice and great for the little ones. Don’t forget your wellies, the maze can get very muddy. Please note as at February 2019 the maze is currently closed for maintenance.
Elephant Playzone – A giant Elephant slide and new whirling web at the new play area at Elephant Eden.
Tractor Rides – Enjoy a tractor ride, for just £2 across the farms land taking in breathtaking views of the Severn Crossings!
Wallaby Hill – Zip, climb, swing and scramble in the huge outdoor wooden adventure playground, packed with 2 zip lines, climbing wall, rope bridges, swings and slide plus Noah’s ark!
Bigger Diggers – Try your hand at digging and scooping with the electric bigger diggers by the Big Cat Sanctuary for only £1.
As well as a Termite Mound, Welly Splash Pool, Trampolines and Sand Pit.
There is just so much to see and do, you can easily enjoy a whole day having fun with your family.
Address – Clevedon Road, Wraxhall, Bristol BS48 1PG – Tel 01275 852606
February – November – Monday – Saturday, 10.30am- 5pm. Open on bank holidays.
December – January – Monday – Saturday, 10.30am- 4pm. Closed on Sundays.