This year's Noah's Ark Zoo Farm's Christmas Tree Recycling Scheme is now well underway.

The annual programme kicked off last week.

Noah's Ark Zoo Farm has repurposed Christmas trees for several years now, using chippings from recycled trees for animal enrichment.

It helped recycle 1,000 trees in 2021 and a substantial 3,000 last year in 2023.

The chippings are particularly popular within the Andean Adventures exhibit where they provide unique scents and interest for the resident spectacled bears, Madidi, Rasu, Tuichi and Beni.

Additionally, the rhinos and meerkats are offered enrichment as their food is buried under the mulch, stimulating their natural foraging instincts.

South West Farmer: It helped recycle 1,000 trees in 2021 and a substantial 3,000 last year in 2023

Managing director at Noah’s Ark, Larry Bush said: "Here at Noah’s Ark, we’re kicking off the New Year with the return of our popular Christmas Tree Recycling scheme, run in partnership with North Somerset Council.

"The scheme forms part of Noah’s Ark’s Green Zoo initiative, which aims to create a sustainable future.

"The scheme enables the public to dispose of their Christmas trees in a responsible and sustainable way, and also benefit from the knowledge that their tree will be repurposed for good."

Supporting the project, Councillor Annemieke Waite, North Somerset Council’s executive member for climate, waste and sustainability, said: "Instead of becoming another waste item after the festive period, it’s positive that trees are being repurposed and used again as a valuable resource.

"It’s also wonderful to see the enjoyment and enrichment the animals get from them!"

She added, "As this is all done locally, it helps cut down on transportation and carbon emissions.

"I’d like to thank the team at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm for all they do – with the tree scheme and their overarching green initiative – to help tackle the climate emergency and make North Somerset a greener place."

The zoo is inviting residents to drop off their Christmas trees for recycling between Wednesday 3rd and Sunday 21st January with operating hours from 10.30am to 4pm.