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History of Moors Valley

History of Moors Valley

The 82 acre Kings Farm was purchased by East Dorset District Council in 1984. Work began to develop a 9-hole pay and play golf course, the narrow-gauge steam railway, play area, lake and Visitor Centre. This first phase of Moors Valley was officially opened in 1988.

The park was much more popular than had originally been envisaged and was bursting at the seams with the half a million visitors by 1990. An additional 170 acres were purchased to allow for expansion of the golf course and a second lake to be built, the Visitor Centre was extended to make way for a Country Shop and new toilets. At the same time the Tree Top Trail and Play Trail were constructed in the forest. Over the following ten years the parks popularity grew still further with approximately 750,000 visitors each year, making it one of the most popular parks in the south of England.

The Forestry Commission and East Dorset District Council are continually looking for ways to improve Moors Valley to ensure it stays as one of the best countryside recreation facilities in the country. In recent years a new toddlers play area, cycle hire centre, high ropes course and orienteering course have been added and there is a rolling programme to improve and replace structures on the play trail.