From eggs to Gruffalos and trains to chicks (Feb 2016)

From eggs to Gruffalos and trains to chicks (Feb 2016)

From eggs to Gruffalos and trains to chicks, there’s plenty to do at Moors Valley’s award-winning country park in March and right through the Easter holidays.

Behind the scenes on the railway
On Saturday and Sunday 12 – 13 March there’s a rare opportunity to find out what goes on behind the scenes at Moors Valley Railway.
Guided tours of the Moors Valley Railway workshop and engine shed will run from Kingsmere Station and a special train timetable will operate throughout the weekend. With at least five engines running from 10.45am – 4pm you’ll be able to see demonstration freight trains and shunting displays as well as have the opportunity to chat to some of the people who work on the engines.
The Moors Valley Railway is also offering you the opportunity to be a ‘Driver for a Fiver’ and drive a real steam engine to raise money for Marie Curie Cancer Care during this special open weekend. A £5 donation will entitle budding train drivers to a short instruction period followed by the chance to drive the recently refurbished locomotive ‘Talos’ along a section of track to Kingsmere Station. ‘Driver for a Fiver’ will run on a first-come-first-served basis throughout both days and participants must be over 13 years old. For more information call 01425 471415.

Disabled Access Day
March 12 also sees two other special events at the Park. Part of a national initiative to encourage disabled people to go out and visit a venue they’ve never been to before, Disabled Access Day will run from 11am – 3pm. The day provides a great opportunity to try out all the accessible facilities at the Park and take part in some special activities for children and families with British Sign Language support, and a Ranger-led nature ‘touch table’. Disabled visitors interested in participating in Railway activities are invited to call the railway direct on 01425 471415 before visiting as access to some areas is restricted by steps and uneven ground.

Riverbank love story
In the evening of 12 March the action moves inside to the Visitor Centre. From 7.30 – 9.30pm Forest Forge theatre company brings a multi-skilled cast of actor musicians to Moors Valley for a riverbank story described as a love song for the waterways of Wessex. With folk music and vibrant storytelling, Upbeat tells the tale of a brother and sister as their lives ebb and flow from youthful rebellion to adult ideals.

The Easter fun begins
Later in March the Easter fun begins at the Park with the Moors Valley Forest Easter Egg hunt. You can take part every day from Friday 25 March – Sunday 10 April. Simply buy a £2 trail card at the Visitor Centre anytime between 9am – 4pm and go off into the forest looking for Easter Egg clues. Then collect and ‘unscramble’ all the letters to win a chocolate prize.

Children’s Easter decorations
Sunday 27th March sees a special children’s Easter workshop at Moors Valley. Suitable for all ages, there is no need to book onto this Eggs and Chicks craft event, just turn up to cut out and decorate some seasonal clay shapes to dry and paint at home. Workshops run from 10.30 – 11.30am and 1 – 2pm, each shape costs £1.50 and children must be accompanied.

Iconic children’s characters
Other special family activities at Moors Valley this Easter include the Stick Man activity trail. Collect an activity pack (£3) from the Visitor Centre, then enjoy a walk in the woods as you help Stick Man find his way back to his family tree whilst also learning about the importance of forests for people, wildlife and timber.
Stick Man stars in one of Julia Donaldson’s ever-popular storybooks. Fans of her iconic stories and the amazing illustrations of Axel Scheffler shouldn’t miss the latest arrival at the Park – a giant sculpture of the Gruffalo’s Child. Carved from sustainable timber she has joined the eight-foot high sculpture of her Gruffalo father just in time for Easter photo opportunities.

Full details of all the events at this award-winning country park in east Dorset can be found at together with directions. For more information call 01425 470721.


Editor’s notes:

A selection of high resolution images can be downloaded from the press images gallery