MOORS Valley Country Park and Forest near Ringwood has started its 30th anniversary year in style with a gold award in the prestigious South West Tourism Excellence Awards 2017/18.

The result of the regional competition was announced at a gala presentation ceremony held at Torquay’s Riviera International Conference Centre on February 1.

In the large attraction category, Moors Valley was up against two Somerset attractions Hestercombe Gardens and Wells Cathedral, Cornwall’s Tintagel Castle and Devon’s Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery in Exeter.

Moors Valley ranger, Katie Davies, received a gold award for outstanding customer service.

Clare Gronow, team leader at Moors Valley, said: “Being named top large attraction in the region is a huge honour and a testament to the hard work of the Moors Valley team.

“I’m especially pleased to congratulate Katie Davies on her Customer Service award. I have worked closely with Katie for many years and am delighted that her dedication and commitment to our customers has been recognised this way."

She added: “2018 is a significant year for Moors Valley Country Park and Forest as July will mark the 30th anniversary of our opening in 1988. These awards are a great way to kick off our celebrations.”