Noah's Ark near Nailsea opens Jungle Den for preschool children

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By Carol_Deacon | Thursday, February 17, 2011, 11:39

Children from two Nailsea pre-schools have won a free day out at Noah’s Ark farm zoo near Nailsea.

Noah’s Ark at Wraxall is one of North Somerset’s busiest tourist attractions with more than 130,000 visitors annually.

The local youngsters took part in a competition to make model mobiles for the Jungle Den which opened this week.

Entries from the children of Greenslade Pre-School Playgroup, at Pound Lane, and Church Lane Pre-school, at Church Lane, were judged the most imaginative.

The new play facility was officially opened by the Diocese of Bath & Wells board of education chairman David Pert on Friday.

In keeping with its Quality Badge for ‘Learning Outside the Classroom’, Noah’s Ark has built a new heated indoor soft play barn themed to the jungle and animals for pre-school children and their families.

The culmination of a special competition run by Noah’s Ark in conjunction with local nurseries saw the unveiling of colourful bird mobile decorations on the day; hung from the ceiling of the play barn for visitors to enjoy this year.

Several nurseries and pre-schools in the area took part in the art competition to design and create 3D model birds to feature in the vibrant new 100 square metre Jungle Den.

The entries were judged at the opening by local artist and joint owner of Noah’s Ark Christina Bush, with the prize of a free group visit to the zoo for the best two entries.

The new facilities at the zoo are aimed at offering parents affordable activities for their young children with a new series of tern time Monday toddler mornings called Jungle Tots.

The introductory rate of £10 is for a parent with up to two children under five.

The sessions will run between 10.30am-noon feature group activities such as story-telling, animal handling and singing, with time for informal use of the new soft play.

Farm zoo education officer Hayley Lung said: “We are pleased to now be able to offer some of the best indoor play facilities for toddlers in the area and with our new Jungle Tots coffee mornings, bringing some fun animal-themed learning to our youngest visitors and their parents at the zoo in a relaxed environment.”

Noah’s Ark’s café run by Wendy and Colin Hall as a separate enterprise was awarded five star status by North Somerset Council at the end of the 2010 season and has been refurbished this winter in readiness for a busy spring at the zoo.

The 100-acre attraction received an excellent report from Secretary of State Zoo Inspectors after the usual three-yearly Zoo Licensing Inspection at the end of 2010, which praised the developments at the site and the quality of animal handling facilities for visitors, calling the zoo ‘a very pleasant outdoor environment for families’.

Noah’s Ark zoo farm house more than 100 sorts of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates including several important species classified as ‘endangered’ to ‘vulnerable’ on the IUCN Red List.

The zoo farms open Mondays-Saturdays from 10.30am-5pm.

For more information about the animals, entry prices and events at Noah’s Ark, visit http://www.noahsarkzoofarm.co.uk or phone 01275 852606.

      

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