Rare opportunity to see hidden bunker at Moors Valley (August 2019)

Rare opportunity to see hidden bunker at Moors Valley (August 2019)

Visitors to Moors Valley Country Park and Forest, near Verwood, will have the chance to discover a hidden piece of Second World War history in September, which remained a closely guarded secret for over 30 years.

As part of Dorset Architectural Heritage Week, a bunker that controlled the operation of a bombing decoy will be open to the public for the first time on Sunday 15 and Wednesday 18 September from 10am-2pm.

The bunker was used during WWII to power and control lights to mimic the appearance of a real airfield at night to draw enemy bombers away from nearby RAF airfields at Hurn and Ibsley. This is an opportunity to take a closer look at the bunker, which is not usually accessible to the public, with volunteers on hand to explain more about how the bunker was used, and the scale and importance of decoy and deception techniques.

Katie Davies, Communication Ranger, said:

“We are extremely grateful to a group of dedicated volunteers, 3LX Community Fund and Verwood Town Council for helping us to restore and research the history of this special site, and we are excited that we are now able to share this story with our visitors.”

The bunker is a 2km walk from the Visitor Centre and car park; parking charges apply. There is also limited free parking at Potterne Park, Verwood, 800m from the bunker.

The location of the flare path has also been identified and a specially designed telescope will be sited on one of the parks waymarked walking trails and will help visitors to visualise how the site would have looked at night when the decoy was in operation.

For more information on the bunker and future open days please visit moors-valley.co.uk/decoy-bunker.

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Editor’s Notes:

About Dorset Architectural Heritage Week
Dorset Architectural Heritage Week is run by East Dorset Heritage Trust in Wimborne and aims to offer the chance for people to visit buildings not normally open to the public, to go on guided walks, hear talks and generally enjoy the county’s built environment. The 2019 programme includes an exciting mixture of fascinating venues from a tiny cottage to a mighty castle as well as churches, chapels, town halls, guildhalls, mills, cemeteries, almshouses and studios. For more information visit www.dahw.org.uk