Land Rovers and mini golf now on offer at Moors Valley Country Park

VISITORS braved the rain to have a splashing time at a new Dorset attraction.

Children, park rangers, council staff and even councillors turned out to celebrate the completion of the Adventure Valley attraction at the Moors Valley Country Park and Forest, in Ashley Heath.

Adventure Valley is a new activity zone for all ages, featuring an 18-hole Adventure Golf course and a Mini Land Rover Experience, giving youngsters the chance to get behind the wheel of a child-sized 4×4.

The golf course is themed around the diverse wildlife and habitats of the park, while the Land Rover track allows children to navigate through an exciting off-road journey in electric vehicles.

The opening is the culmination of three years work, after the concept of Adventure Valley was first discussed back in 2020, inspired by attractions visited by park rangers on holiday.

As Moors Valley was already recognised as a place for adventurous play, park rangers drew up rough plans for the activity zone and calculated how much it might cost.

A capital bid was submitted in November 2020 and accepted in March 2021 for both the Land Rover track and the miniature golf course.

While the pandemic slowed plans, the electric vehicles were purchased and delivered in March 2022, coming from Holland.

As the concept of Adventure Valley was transformed into a final plan, a temporary Land Rover course was set up, running from Easter 2022.

Adventure Golf is also on offer at Moors Valley. Picture: Dorset Council

Adventure Golf is also on offer at Moors Valley. Picture: Dorset Council

The success of the scheme helped the team learn what worked and what didn’t when finalising their plans.

The lease for the main course was granted by the RSPCA in February 2023, with ground broken the following month.

Contractors, volunteers, and rangers worked day-in, day-out, in in all weathers to deliver the project, with Adventure Valley officially launched in August 2023.

While the attraction is fully open to the public, there are more phases planned, with a tunnel and signage to be added to the Land Rover course, as well as additional planting and carvings on the golf course.

Cllr Ray Bryan, Dorset Council’s portfolio holder for highways, travel and environment, said: “Moors Valley is very special to me, as I live just a couple of miles away and visit quite often.

“Dorset Council has a great partnership with other bodies such as Forestry England and the RSPCA, who are so important to making Moors Valley the success it is.

“I’m so pleased to see so many youngsters enjoying themselves playing golf and learning how to drive, despite the typical British rainy weather.

“It is such a fantastic facility for the council to support and, as a cabinet member, I’m proud to be responsible for making sure this place will get the funding and support it needs.

“I’d like to thank everyone who has been involved with this brilliant project.

“Particular thanks go to Park Ranger Emma Reeks, without who this project would still just be an idea on paper. Her hard work, motivation and attention to detail has ensured the Adventure Valley project became a reality, delivered to the high standard you can see today.”

Since Adventure Valley opened, more than 76,500 holes of Adventure Golf have been completed, as well as more than 23,000 Land Rover laps – a total mileage of some 2,700 miles.

Find out more about Adventure Valley at the Moors Valley Country Park and Forest website.

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