MOORS Valley Country Park and Forest near Ringwood hosted a 20th birthday party last weekend for The Gruffalo, the famous children’s book character created by Julia Donaldson.

The special guest joined visitors for a birthday picnic and blew out the candles on his own cake.

A host of free activities were on offer for the party goers including an opportunity to meet the Gruffalo, share some of his birthday cake and Gruffalo inspired face painting.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary, Forestry England has created a fun, free party pack full of forest activities and Gruffalo inspired picnic ideas.

The party pack also includes blank Gruffalo invitations so visitors can invite their family and friends, and recommended party games.

The Gruffalo has a permanent place in the Forest at Moors Valley. In the Forest Picnic Area is a life-sized sculpture of the Gruffalo plus the Gruffalo’s child and many of the other characters from Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s story books.

Linda Laker, Forestry England’s recreation manager for Dorset, said: “The Gruffalo has a very special place here at Moors Valley and we are lucky enough to be one of the few places in the country that has a sculpture and woodland area dedicated to this much loved forest character. So we thought it only right that we throw a special party to celebrate his 20th birthday. Visitors to Moors Valley this summer can join in the celebrations by downloading their free Gruffalo party pack.”

The free Gruffalo Party Pack can be downloaded by going to resource/ Gruffalo-party-pack.