Folly Farm waves flag for sustainability with new, £160k green go karts

Pembrokeshire zoo, Folly Farm, has upgraded its popular outdoor go karts to sustainable, electric models as part of its ongoing commitment to sustainability.

Folly Farm invested £160,000 – which was funded through the Welsh Government’s Economic Resilience Fund Phase 3 (ERF3) – on 18 new, electric-powered karts for its family-friendly Follystone racetrack.

The electric go karts were designed and built by Rhyl-based family business, Formula K.

Formula K is a leading go kart manufacturer, supplying leisure attractions all over the world. Folly Farm is the first family attraction in Wales to introduce all-electric go karts.

The order, which was placed during the height of the pandemic, helped Formula K to bring back staff who had been furloughed since the shutdown of the tourism and leisure market.

Royston Badham, operations manager at Folly Farm, said: “Our go karts here at Folly Farm have always been our most popular attraction, aside from the animals of course.

“Replacing our petrol go karts with electric ones was an easy decision. The cars run on batteries which are charged using solar power. Solar panels on our fairground rooves already power many of the attractions on site as part of our ongoing commitment to sustainability.

“The new greener go karts will reduce our carbon emissions as we are no longer using petrol and what’s more, they’re much quieter than the old models which is an added bonus.

“We were pleased to work hand in hand with another Welsh business, Formula K, who have made the upgrade a smooth and easy process for us, delivering our order during challenging times. We’re excited to offer our visitors the chance to race in the new cars this Summer.”

Dan Liddle, managing director of Formula K, said: “Folly Farm has been a long-standing customer of ours for around 20 years. We installed the original track and we’ve enjoyed joining them on their journey in helping them upgrade to a newer, more sustainable attraction.”

The electric go karts are Folly Farm’s next step in its commitment to sustainability. Since 2016, the zoo has held the Green Key award, an internationally recognised standard for environmental responsibility across the tourism industry.

In 2017, Folly Farm invested £700,000 in biomass heating, saving 700 tonnes of carbon emissions annually.

Folly Farm’s new go karts were funded by the third phase of Welsh Government’s Economic Resilience Fund Phase 3, which was a £300m support package to help businesses rebuild and recover from the effects of the pandemic and protect Welsh jobs.

Minister for the Economy, Vaughan Gething, said: “I’m delighted that we’ve been able to provide this support for Folly Farm which, in line with the aim of the third phase of our Economic Resilience Fund, has helped the attraction to prepare for a strong post-covid future.  This Government is committed to delivering a stronger, greener and fairer Wales and it is excellent news that Folly Farm has been able to use this funding to develop a greener way of operating a popular attraction –while working with another Welsh business to deliver this solution.”