Noah’s Ark is a unique hands-on zoo and working farm founded by Anthony and Christina Bush. We are located just outside Bristol and set in over 100 acres of beautiful countryside.
What started as a Farm Centre with farm animals, rabbits and guinea pigs and a small number of exotics like wallabies, has grown to become the largest zoo in the South-West welcoming over 200,000 visitors a year. We now have a large range of exotic and endangered species, including African Elephants and Spectacled Bears, in our collection.
At Noah’s Ark, we are passionate about caring for our animals and invite our visitors to have fun-filled, educational and exciting animal experiences through hands-on animal encounters, exhibits and keeper talks. We encourage conservation through everything we do, including our educational workshops, fundraising events and the message we communicate on social media. A number of animals at Noah’s Ark are also part of the breeding group, European Endangered Species Programme (EEP), which works with zoos across Europe to breed endangered species for repopulation.
We are winners of prestigious awards including:
- The national 'Quality Badge' from the Learning Outside the Classroom Scheme;
- Gold Award in the Green Tourism Business Scheme;
- Silver Award for 'Sustainable Tourism' (2016) from Bristol, Bath and Somerset Tourism Awards;
- Gold Award for 'Sustainable Tourism' (2017) from Bristol, Bath and Somerset Tourism Awards;
- 'Access for All’ Award in the Bristol Tourism & Hospitality Awards (2012);
- ‘Best Innovation’ Award from NFAN Awards (2015) for Elephant Eden.
Noah's Ark has also been recognised at a regional level with awards including North Somerset's Top Visitor Attraction and National Farm Attractions Network: Farm Attraction of the Year (Finalist).
Shaka the 26 year old African Elephant arrived at Elephant Eden.
The zoo was awarded multiple tourism awards for our sustainable efforts.
7 Giant Aldabran Tortoises arrived at the zoo, donated by Nigel Marven.
Geralds legacy Gus was welcomed into the family by Genevive and his 2 new brothers.
Our eateries were given a revamp allowing visitors to purchase hot and cold treats on the go.
Andean Adventures was completed and welcomed the arrival of brother bears, Sonco and Tupa.
Elephant Eden, the largest Elephant enclosure in the UK was offically opened by Princess Anne.
Genevieve and Gerald welcomed their second boy, Geoffrey into the world.
Keepers welcomed the birth of a second baby Tapir, named Tallulah.
George, our first baby giraffe, was born to excited media attention.
A new heated indoor Soft-Play Barn, the Jungle Den, opened in February.
Three African lion cubs arrived, and our Tiger Territory was renamed the Big Cat Sanctuary.
Gerald was introduced to his new girldfriend Genevieve.
The birth of baby Tapir, Troy, was streemed live to the wolrd via webcam.
Our 10 year anniversary was marked with the arrival of our first Gibbon baby, Sultana.
Tiger Territory was finished with the addition of 2 Bengal-type Tigers.
Zebra, Ostriches, Prairie Dogs and Mara joined the Ark.
Our Gibbon Gallery was built for 2 endangered Siamangs as part of the EEP.
The Giraffe House was opened with the arrival of Gerald.
Europe's longest hedge maze was planted in 2003 using 14,000 beech trees.
The first of the big zoo animals arrived in the shape of two South African White Rhinos.
The new Animal Village was created with new show pens for large animals.
The reptile house was completed and the first cold-blooded animals joined the zoo.
2000 - 2004
New indoor and outdoor play areas were built including a 500 seat indoor 'Ark Arena'.
1998 - 1999
Noah's Ark began with a trial period as a small petting zoo and had its first full season in 1999.
1960 - 1997
Noah's Ark was built on the site of Moat House Farm, a listed 17th Century Farm House with a moat.
Aspiring to an open, critical approach to explain what we see in the natural world.
Did life arise naturally or supernaturally? Can undirected, random processes result in complex life forms or is there evidence to support the notion of a Creator? Can we reconcile our knowledge of evolution and a belief in God? These are important questions for some people.
This section offers some discussion of these subjects and introduces a new approach to looking at the natural world. We encourage you to explore the linked pages at your leisure.
Biological life is a wonderful thing. In our view the evidence currently known points to a 'both/and' situation (creation and evolution) rather than 'either/or': there was an initial creation, followed by a vast amount of evolution, geological and biological. Far from being static, the world was created to be ever changing, unfolding continually new forms and opportunities. We also believe the question of the age of the earth isn't simply one of 'either/or'. We think that evidence shows the world is much older than 6000 years but much younger than 4.5 billion years. We therefore don't adhere to a 'Young Earth Creationist' view, rather a theory of Recolonisation which is described in the linked pages in this section. This view is counter-cultural to some, but we encourage interested readers to explore these questions for themselves.
More than a choice between two theories
We're often guided into following one of broadly two supposed explanations for the origin and diversity of life, Darwinism or Creationism, the latter often criticised by academics although many people believe in a creator God. As a zoo run with Christian principles, coupled with an appreciation of the diversity of the natural world that has undoubtedly been shaped by evolution; on examination of the evidence we believe an alternative explanation which shares some features with both ideologies may in fact be more accurate. We argue the case for a new approach in this section and the linked pages explore the science of evolution, geology and the age of the earth, and an introduction to recolonisation theory.
While we don't profess to have all the answers, we think people should have the freedom to believe in God and know that it makes good sense in relation to the world around them.
If you'd like to learn more about the issues discussed in this section a good resource is our sister website Earth History which goes into greater detail. Another useful source of information is 'From Cows to Tigers: Building Noah's Ark' the recently published book from Noah's Ark Zoo Farm owner Anthony Bush who looks at the science alongside the well-known Biblical narrative.
Noah's ark story
The Noah's Ark Story
The theme of our zoo is Noah and his escape from a global flood. The story is familiar to most of us and of course the image of different animals gathered into the safety of an ark is very apt for a zoo, especially where one of its aims is conservation. But the theme also raises questions about whether such an extraordinary story could be true.