Thursday, 8 August 2013

Avon Wildlife Safari Day 21 - Visit the balloon fiesta

This weekend hosts the 35th annual spectacular Bristol International Balloon Fiesta with four days of family fun at a stunning location. Ashton Court not only provides fantastic views across the city but can also be seen from multiple places around the region, providing great opportunities for watching  balloons of all shapes and sizes lift off.
With Balloon Shuttle buses running every 10 minutes across the four days from bus stops that will be specially marked, with prices starting from £2.50 for adult single fares (£2 child single), it's easy to access and you can leave the car at home.

This year Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm will be visiting the balloon fiesta accompanied by some of their smaller zoo animals including our birds of prey, reptiles, reindeer, rabbits and guinea pigs. You will be able to meet and greet the animals and get up-close to them. Staff will also be walking around the fiesta taking the animals to meet some of the other participants and stalls on over the weekend. Don’t miss out on a chance to enter their competition and win a Keeper Experience at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm.

But you don't have to stay within the confines of the festival, Ashton Court is a wonderful estate, designated a Site of Nature Conservation Interest, with a 850 acres of woodland and grassland to explore including a deer park, wildflower meadow, and the Domesday Oak. This 700 year old tree was named as one of the 50 Great British Trees in 2002. In 2011 a crack appeared in the trunk and oak support beams were fitted to support the tree. The supports were only partly successful and a section of the tree collapsed, and the remaining part of the tree was pruned to reduce the weight of the surviving section.

If you loved this tree then why not get involved in the Woodland Trust's Veteran Tree hunt and see how many more you can find.

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