Our Education and Sustainability Officer, Kayleigh, explains some of the ways we've been encouraging sustainability in the zoo this year and outlines her plans for the year ahead...
This year we have been growing some of our own animal feed here at Blackpool Zoo, converting our empty back field into a very productive field of maize. We managed to produce a huge amount of maize, or corn as it is otherwise known, to feed our animals towards the end of summer and throughout autumn.
We didn’t have to buy fertiliser to help the crop grow because we had a ready supply of elephant poo fertiliser from our very own Kate. Elephant poo is extremely rich in nutrients which are recycled back into the food. Growing maize also means we reduced our ‘food miles’ (carbon footprint from food transport), since we transported less food to the zoo. The maize was fed to a lot of our animals in the zoo, but was definitely a firm favourite with Kate, who loved tucking into a good bit of maize!
Next year we are hoping to grow vegetables for some of our smaller animals here at the zoo (we wouldn’t be able to keep up with Kate’s food demand!). We plan to do this in our new nature garden by the side of the Education Academy near the main entrance, which is under development at the moment.
Our new nature garden will also help us support the 2016 BIAZA native species campaign, as it will include lots of designated spaces for British animals, such as a bug hotel made out of natural and reclaimed materials, a hedgehog house, a pond for our water loving animals, as well as lots of bee friendly plants and wildflowers to encourage those important insects into the garden. The garden will also showcase how you can make your own compost and use water butts to water plants, whilst reducing your water use.
Keep your eyes peeled for updates on our garden development over the coming months!
- Kayleigh, Education and Sustainability Officer