2022 Year In Review

2022 Year In Review

Despite challenging times over the last 12 months, the ranger team have continued to deliver and thrive in a super busy year.

The year in numbers

  • Total visitors; nearly a million visitors (approximately 960,000)
  • Ranger hours; approximately 38,749 ranger hours worked across 2022
  • Conservation volunteers; 1,125 hours worked across 31 dedicated volunteers and 13 different sessions
  • Cycle hires; 18,692 cycling hours across our fleet of hire bikes
  • Shop products; 54,025 items sold, including 1,283 items from local Dorset artists or small businesses
  • Hot drinks; Seasons produced 310,357 hot drinks, using 32,034 tea bags. . . and not all for the rangers!
  • Social Engagement; 602,615 likes, clicks, comments or shares across our social media channels
  • Tracks and trails; 3.5 miles of trails resurfaced, across the Play Trail, Singletrack and waymarked walking and cycling trails
  • parkrun; 23,790 parkrun events walked, jogged or run
  • 30th anniversary of the full 18 hole Golf Course opening
  • 2022 saw Moors Valley win Gold at the Dorset Tourism Awards, Silver at the South West Tourism Excellence Awards, both for Large Visitor Attraction of the Year. Alongside the Trip Advisor Travellers’ Choice Award and a Visit England accreditation of 89%, its highest score ever.

Projects delivered

New Information Point

At the start of 2022 the ranger team redesigned the Information Point, allowing for a more modern and streamlined facility. 10 years after its last make over, the area was in need of a refresh. Working with a local company, Crafted Carpentry, the ranger team implemented a new layout allowing for more till points, better accessibility and a greater space for engagement. The old counter was upcycled to create more storage behind the new information desk, ensuring nothing went to waste.

Information Point desk

Butterfly sculpture, Biomass mural, ‘Ella’s Bench’ and New Gruffalo

To help the site engage with its visitors online and in a social setting, 2022 saw a variety of new ‘Instagram’ worthy structures installed across the park. The Moors Lake butterfly allows budding photographers the opportunity to capture the most popular image of Moors Valley in a whole new light. Working with another local company, 2Sisters, we replaced our biomass boiler interpterion with an artistic view on its sustainable source; trees. Our ever popular and much loved Gruffalo sculpture was replaced with a new installation, ensuring the next generation of Julia Donaldson fans can capture that iconic memory.

In collaboration with Vitality and the hugely talented Chris Wood of Wood Art Works, Moors Valley installed ‘Ella’s bench’. This memorial feature is aimed at commemorating Ella May Cooper, with a magical take on her favourite story and is designed to encourage people to further away parts of the park. This area will continue to grow through 2023 and is already home to Ella’s bench, cloud watching seats and the fantastic Papilio musical instrument.

Carved wooden bench in the shape of a butterfly

Replacement Moors Valley causeway

The tired and old wooden boardwalk, enabling people to walk parallel to the lake up to the Kingsmere railway station was fully replaced in 2022. With a modern and more future proofed design, this new causeway was an essential replacement infrastructure for the park. By raising the elevation of the pathway we have (hopefully) ensured this pathway is accessible even during the heaviest flooding.

Redesigned and improved zip wire

The zip wire in the adventure play area was renovated to include a new safety surface and seating area. Working with Alan Bishop Themeworks Ltd we replaced the timbers with a creative new stone seating feature. This ensures the future lifespan of the play equipment, whilst giving people a more spacious and visually stunning seating area.

Upcoming for 2023

Adventure Valley

After the Mini Land Rover tasters throughout 2022, we’ll be starting the development of our permanent Adventure Valley activity course. This will comprise of a full size Mini Land Rover experience and an 18 hole adventure golf course. The activities are hoped to be ready to officially launch for the summer. . . so watch this space.

Mini Land Rovers parked in a row

Shop and Restaurant Re-design

After the success of the Information Point re-design, which included a dedicated shop till point, we are giving the shop floor a makeover to make it more open, more accessible and a better space to showcase the wide array of items available. In conjunction with the re-design our retail development ranger is continuing to grow the local artists stocked in the shop, including the ‘Share A Little Frankie’ range by local artist Lucy Kendall.

Straight Boardwalk

The straight wooden boardwalk connecting Moors Valley to Potterne, via our pink loop is to be replaced in early 2023. Removing rotten timbers and replacing with a stoned causeway will improve access and future proof this well used route. The ranger team, alongside our dedicated volunteers have undertaken some practical days clearing the area in preparation of this starting the week commencing 20 February 2023.

Digital Improvements

With over half a million visits in 2022 the Moors Valley website is a primary tool for people to source key information, before, during and after their visit. To help ensure our website is accessible, user friendly and full of the best content we are working towards giving it a full upgrade in 2023. Work has started to scope out what currently works well, what needs improvement and how best we can integrate this into our other digital features.  Likewise work will hopefully commence on an updated video promo, showcasing the best Moors Valley has to offer, ensuring it includes as many of the new features as possible.

Path Networks

Further evaluation of our popular forest path network will take place, with a long term vision of improving access and increasing the useable trails in place for all of our users.