Staff at Moors Valley Country Park and Forest near Ringwood are celebrating after the Park received a silver award in the Large Visitor Attraction of the Year category at the 2014 Dorset Tourism Awards.
This is the first time that Moors Valley has entered a tourism awards scheme of this type. The gold award went to Bovington Tank Museum at a gala presentation ceremony at the Tank Museum on 16 October.
In addition to customer service, facilities, information, accessibility, use of social media and effectiveness of websites, Moors Valley’s entry emphasised how the Park’s environment and wildlife helps visitors to have fun outdoors, learn and be active throughout the year.
Clare Gronow, Team Leader at Moors Valley said, “This is the first time that we put ourselves forward for such an award and we are thrilled to have done so well.
“It’s a great reflection on the dedication of the Moors Valley team and a public acknowledgement of the way we continue to deliver the highest possible levels of customer service to our three quarters of a million visitors, of all ages, for 364 days of the year.
“Moors Valley is a joint venture between East Dorset District Council and the Forestry Commission and the work we do here goes beyond the remit of most visitor attractions including, as it does, countryside management and forestry. With over 800 acres it is a large site to look after and we always aim to balance the needs of our visitors with those of the environment. This award is testament to our success in achieving that objective whist still providing our visitors with a great day out.”
As well as a visitor centre, restaurant, trails and picnic areas, Moors Valley runs a full programme of activities and events. The Park is also home to the Moors Valley Railway, 18-hole golf course, and Go Ape Tree Top Adventure and Junior Tree Top Adventure. It is the third most-visited country park in the UK with around 800,000 people using its facilities every year.