AN information officer at Moors Valley who acted as a fount of knowledge about the country park has retired after 16 years.

Pam Martin has seen the number of species increase from 113 to 137 over her 16 years of service, and made it her business to know everything she could about the park’s history.

She will now spend more time with her husband and three grandsons, as well as indulging her passion for family history, walking in the New Forest and enjoying her motor home and garden.

Mrs Martin began working at Moors Valley in March 1998.

Over the years she has researched the history of Kings Farm, the site on which the country park was created, and the old barn, which became the visitor centre.

She has also been instrumental in monitoring the bird count in the park. Among many memorable bird-related moments, Mrs Martin recalls the appearance of a stray flamingo, a Great Bustard and a blue budgie.

She said: “I have always enjoyed the hustle and bustle of Moors Valley and I am delighted to have seen it grow and prosper over the years.

“I have wonderful memories of Moors Valley and all the rangers I have worked with over the years and I will watch with interest the park’s future progress.”

Clare Gronow, countryside manager at Moors Valley, said: “Pam’s knowledge of the park is remarkable and her ability to recall everything from historical information to bird species and railway prices will be sorely missed.

“Throughout her 16 years of service she has been unendingly friendly and welcoming, even on very busy days when several hundred people can visit the information point.”

Although she is retiring, Mrs Martin won’t be leaving Moors Valley completely as she intends to return as a volunteer so that she can keep tabs on the growing bird population.