Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm marks record-breaking 20th year

Staff at Noahs Ark Zoo Farm enjoyed a record-breaking year. Picture: Noahs Ark Zoo Farm

Staff at Noahs Ark Zoo Farm enjoyed a record-breaking year. Picture: Noahs Ark Zoo Farm - Credit: Archant

A Wraxall zoo has enjoyed a record-breaking 20th year.

This year has marked the 20th anniversary of Noah's Ark Zoo Farm, in Clevedon Road, and has proved to be a busy year, with new animals, new developments and record-breaking visitor numbers.

A broad range of animals have joined the zoo this year including a giant anteater, two Andean bears, a baby giraffe called Gilbert and a zebra.

The zoo has also expanded its visitor offerings with two new buildings, an enclosure and an extension to the food barn.

The Buttery Café, so called because of the link to the farms' dairy history, holds an extra 80 customers.

A new bird of prey enclosure was built to house the new 11 bird team which arrived in April.

The enclosure was officially opened by Olympic hero Eddie 'The Eagle' Edwards.

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Noah's Ark was founded by Anthony and Christina Bush in 1999 initially as a petting zoo and dairy farm after being dairy farmers for 40 years.

They had lived and worked at the site as dairy farmers since 1962 when the original Moat House Farm was part of the Tyntesfield Estate.

Since its formation, the zoo has grown to become the largest in the South West, attracting more than 200,000 visitors per year and housing more than 100 animal species.

The year also marked the start of a new era for the zoo, with son Larry Bush taking the helm as managing director after a 30-year career in business and as a charity director.

Larry said: "We're delighted with the success we've seen in 2019 and everyone is now excited about 2020 as we begin an exciting new era for Noah's Ark Zoo Farm."

The zoo won eight industry awards throughout the year, including a Fairtrade Award for the café, a British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums Services to Education Award and three Bristol, Bath and Somerset Tourism Awards for large visitor attraction, accessibility and inclusivity and ethical, responsible and sustainable tourism.

Opening on Sundays for the first time has proved popular with visitors, along with a global adventurer passport summer scheme for both youngsters and adults helped it break its visitor record throughout 2019.