Moors Valley Country Park

Moors Valley Country Park team receiving the Silver Award, from left to right, Richard Burke, district manager, Forestry Commission; Clare Gronow, team leader, Moors Valley Country Park and Forest, Matthew Beavan, visitor services ranger, Moors Valley and Andrew Norris, recreation manager, Forestry Commission

East Dorset’s Moors Valley Country Park and Forest added a further accolade to its recent tally of awards when it took a Silver Award in the Large Attraction of the Year category of the South West Tourism Awards. The awards were announced at Exeter Cathedral on 4 February.

The South West scheme is the biggest of its kind and the 2016 competition attracted 490 entries from as far afield as Salisbury in the east, the Isles of Scilly in the west and Cirencester in the north. Successful entries from the Dorset, Cornwall and Devon Tourism Awards were all considered, alongside direct entries from Wiltshire, Somerset, Bath, Bristol and Gloucestershire.

This latest award comes after Moors Valley, one of the most visited attractions in the south with more than 750,000 visitors annually, was named Winner of Winners in the 2015 Dorset Tourism Awards. The park also received a gold award in the Best Large Attraction category and silver in the Access and Inclusivity category.

Clare Gronow, team leader at Moors Valley, said, “The south west is home to some of the best tourism attractions in the UK and we were up against stiff competition from the likes of the Eden Project, Brunel’s SS Great Britain and Salisbury Cathedral so it is incredibly gratifying to be recognised in this way.

“We offer a unique combination of outdoor play, working forest, wonderful wildlife and healthy outdoor exercise and this award is a tribute to the efforts of all of the park staff and those of the other businesses based here, who work hard throughout the year to give our thousands of visitors the best possible experience.”

The park was also voted best Outdoor Play Centre in the 2015 Primary Times Reader Star Awards and received a Green Flag award for quality and sustainability in September.

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